Positive Hope, World Beat Center, &
Dr. Gabriel Cousens, MD
Weekend Workshop in San Diego - February 26th, 27th, and 28th Spiritual, Cultural, & Nutritional Healing Seminar includes: Segments from Dr. Cousens’ world-renowned “Reversing Diabetes” program, Foundation of Living Foods, Spiritual Clearing and Inspiration, Meditation with Dr. Cousens, Two Lectures from Dr. Cousens, Jivamukti Yoga Class, Living Foods Prep Class, and the opportunity to meet the world leader in Spiritual Nutrition and Reversing Diabetes.
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“Gabriel Cousens, MD takes his place among the world’s leading physician-healers.” - Dr. Rob Ivker, Co-founder of American Board of Holistic Medicine
World Beat Cultural Center: 2100 Park Blvd. in Balboa Park, San Diego. 619-230-1190
For More Information & to Register visit www.worldbeatcenter.org $89 Online
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Ghana Africa International Operations (GAIO) is a small San Diego based nonprofit, who envisioned building an Information & Communication Center in Africa to help provide a future for the forgotten children of Ghana. The Akwatia Project: a technologically modern, sustainably built communication center planned with the Chief of Akwatia, Nana Akwatiahene, whose goal is to bring education to his people for personal academic advancement and effective national development.
lisa Williams • Colette Baron-reid • John holland • Caroline Myss Joan Borysenko, ph.D. • Christiane northrup, M.D. • gregg Braden Bruce lipton, ph.D. • thomas Moore . . . plus more!
• International cuisine • Full wrap-around bar • Award-winning Ghanaian Musician SELASEE • A cd release party • A live auction with high end items • A fashion show featuring African materials produced by Blew-Print • Wine tasting • Local jewelry designers showcase • Ghanaian chocolate • An art auction of original photographs featuring the children of Akwatia • Rafﬂe prizes • A special guest from Ghana – CHIEF AKWATIAHENE!
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ot so long ago I was in a relationship with a neurologist. We were on our way out to an important dinner one night when he discovered a small rip in the seam of his jacket. I found a needle and thread and was ready to take charge of the situation when he calmly took the needle away from me. “I’ll do it,” he said quietly. “But I’m the woman,” I insisted, certain that I had the upper hand. “And I’m the surgeon,” he answered. And just like that, the argument was over. The game, if you could call it that, was finished. My power card had been trumped. My role as a wizard of all-thingsdomestic had been undermined. I walked away from thread, from needle, and apparently from my purpose in life. If I ever wished to exploit my advantages as a
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woman, it would have to wait for another venue. And, of course, there would always be another venue. We will forever be playing power games—not necessarily because it’s a biological imperative for men and women, or even humans. Power—a radiant force that is implicit in all living beings—is a hard-won item only in the minds of men and women. Having reduced life’s greatest mysteries to mundane concepts, our minds proceed to assess their usefulness and to determine their overall global market value. Our idea of power is useful in a certain sense, but it is a small concept in comparison to the truth. Politics is a term that suggests the use of tactics in order to gain power and influence. To put that definition into a sexual context, we need to be blind to truth. Life owns the truth, not our mental programming. It is life that makes sex a powerful act, not our whimsical ideas of right and wrong, weak or strong—or supreme. Supreme power created us and designed the game of existence on this planet, with all its evolutions, mutations and mandates. It is a supreme mandate for all creatures to reproduce. Gender distinction—at least in the world that is familiar to us—serves that mandate. So, gender serves the sexual act, which in turn serves life. The wars between us—man against woman, human against human—are first and always waged inside our heads. To make the misguided assumption that men and women are at odds with each other, and to exploit that assumption, seems like a transparent act of treason against nature. Why would we commit such an act? Because we are unaware of ourselves—and because we are bullies. Once again, I’m speaking of the mind—us. We talk, we think, we create realities out of wild guesses and presumptions, and we insist that we own the truth. We come up with phrases like the weaker sex and the male animal to denigrate each other and life. We conceptualize gender wars and sexual politics and we strive to make these concepts real. Humans are, in fact, animals. Out of words we build a narrative that elevates us to the stature of artists and custodians of this planet. We could exist without words, but it seems evident that they enhance our life experience. This fact alone makes us magnificent! Creating a world out of beliefs and concepts is not a talent reserved just for men or just for women. We do it as a species. We are endowed with an imagination that can lift us to exhilarating heights of awareness or drop us into bleak chasms of fear. It is an act of grace to apply words to a more loving human condition. There is no grace in using the fact of our genders—the servants to life’s supreme mandate—to create conflict. So let’s dream this: that there is no human life without men and women. Any discussion about conflict is the result of repeated suggestion and too much hubris on the part of the mind. To be blind to the truth means we see only differences and discord—in gender, race and faith. There is no difference. There is no discord. There are just ideas of conflict waiting for us to come out and play and ill-considered rumors waiting to be endorsed. Power. Justice. Loyalty. These words, once calculated to represent the truth, have lost all authority in their continual misdirection. The greatest human act of power comes when the mind does not believe itself, but uses its considerable influence to support life. It is to life that we owe all of our loyalty, and to that end, these beautiful bodies of ours deserve the full force of our good justice. Let someone else play politics with the many changing ideas of power. We are not here to verify our worth. Why should we? For each of us, personal power is an inarguable and supremely genuine fact of life. Barbara Emrys is a speaker, writer, and teacher of Toltec Dreaming, based on the philosophy of living life as art. The author of Dreams of Mirabel and Burundi and the Birth of the Beatles, she presently conducts monthly workshops in San Diego and is also holding a workshop in Teotihucan, Mexico, February 18-23, with don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements and the newly released The Fifth Agreement. Learn more at BarbaraEmrys.com.
F E B R UA RY 20 10
A Real Man Re define d by Brian L. Patton
h o l i s t i c l i v i n g and the Romantic-based words we use for their meat (beef, pork, mutton, and poultry). All I know is that I can’t hear the name of actor Shia LaBeouf without giggling just a little. Seriously, though, it’s these unfortunate etymological origins that perpetuate the convenient disconnect that we suffer from today between what we see on our plate and what we know about its source. So what does all this have to do with a baked egg dish and the questionable masculinity of its consumer? The answer lies beyond the quiche itself. In his essay “Self Reliance,” Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “Whoso would be a man, must be a nonconformist.” Society pressures us in countless ways, as far as what to wear, Vegan Spinach an d Mushroom Qu iche 1 block firm tofu 2 oz. baby spinach ¼ lb. crimini mushroom s, clea ned and sliced ½ onion, diced 2-3 cloves fresh garlic, min ced ½ cup uns weetened non -da iry milk (soy, almond , rice, etc.) 1 tbsp. olive oil 3 tsp. Dijon mustard 1 tsp. sea salt (to taste) 1-3 tsp. dried chili flakes (to taste) ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg ¼ cup nutritional yea st fl akes 1 sma ll handfu l of fresh Italian flat leaf parsley, cho pped Preheat oven to 400 deg rees. Remove tofu from its packaging and discard liquid. Put it on a large plate the Now put something on the and place another plate on top of it, like a sandw ich. top plate that will keep a slight, constant pressure tofu, like a couple of can on the s of bea ns, for exa mple. Aft er 30 minutes, a good am water that we don’t need ount of will be squeezed out. While your tofu is dra inin g, heat the olive oil in a larg the onion and mushroom e skillet at medium high. s, and sauté for 3-4 min Add utes until soft. Add the cook an additional 1-2 min garlic and utes. Add the spinach and spinach is wilted, and set a pinch of salt, cook unt il the the mixture aside to coo l. Using the food-processing device of your choice, pur except the sautéed veg gie ee all remaining ingredient mixture, until smooth. s, Combine the veg gie mix the tofu mixture in a larg ture and e bowl and stir until incorp orated. Pour the quiche mix into a well-oiled pan tha t’s about 6” x 6” (if it’s squ ture are) or about 6” in dia me round). Bake it uncovered ter (if it’s for 40-50 minutes until the quiche is set. Allow to stan 5 minutes before cutting . Ser ves 4. d for
eal men don’t eat quiche.” It’s a phrase I’ve heard many times over the years. I’ve seen it on t-shirts and bumper stickers. It’s been transmuted into similar phrases like “real men don’t ask for directions” and “real men don’t watch ‘The Real Housewives of…um…Anywhere.’” (Okay, I just made that last one up about the infamous reality TV show, but nobody should watch that junk, man or woman). It’s also a phrase that, until about 12 seconds ago, I knew nothing of its origin. It turns out that it’s the title of a book by Bruce Feirstein, which in 1982, resided on the New York Times bestseller list for 53 weeks as “A Guidebook to All That Is Truly Masculine.” Having read a few reviews of Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche, it appears that the book takes a satirical look at antiquated ideas of a man’s role in relation to women and the world in general, offering tidbits like, “Real men are unwavering and always self-assured,” and “real men don’t show emotion.” As far as women go, they “belong in the kitchen while the man earns a living…and when he gets home… he’s got dibs on the big piece of meat.” As a male, a chef, and a vegan, I’ve got some thoughts on this. Meat. What is it? Well, we know what it is. It’s those perfectly portioned morsels in the glass case at the back of the supermarket. It’s that stuff they love to sear, grill, poach, roast, and pair with a nice cabernet on the Food Network. It’s beef, pork, poultry, and seafood. But what is it really? It’s a cow, a pig, a chicken, and a fish. All of these things you already know, but where do the terms “beef” and “pork” come from? It goes way back to the year 1066, when the French-speaking Normans conquered England. In the ensuing years, a shift in the language of the land occurred. What the conquered peasant farmers continued to refer to as “cu” (or cow), which has Germanic origins, those of the French-speaking aristocracy called it “boef” or “beouf.” This example explains the current dichotomy between the Germanic-based words we use for animals (cow, swine, sheep, and chicken),
how to speak, and what to eat. There was a time that I tuck-rolled the bottom of my jeans like Zach Morris, ended a good portion of my words with “-izzle” (a-l-a Snoop Dogg), and put Popeye’s mooching friend, Wimpy, to shame when it came to eating cheeseburgers. continued on page 40
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The Power of Live Foods by Gabriel Cousens, MD
he power of live foods for healing is increasingly being supported by traditional research. Living foods or raw foods have not been cooked, processed, exposed to pesticides or herbicides, microwaved, irradiated, or genetically engineered. They represent an unbroken wholeness that is the original creation and nutritional gift of the Divine. The understanding that the food we eat is an energetic whole greater than the sum of its parts reflects a quantum mechanical view of nutrition. Research by Dr. Israel Brekhman of the former Soviet Union illustrates a foundational truth—when he gave whole, live foods to animals, their endurance was two to three times greater than if he gave them the same foods that were cooked. From a traditional nutritional perspective, there should not be a difference since cooked and raw foods have the same amount of calories and therefore the same amount of energy. Brekhman’s results can be explained, however, if we understand the effect of cooking on the whole food. Thorough cooking destroys the ecological balance of the food. It makes 50 percent of the protein unavailable. It also destroys 60 to 70 percent of the vitamins, up to 96 percent of B12, and 100 percent of phytonutrients which boost the immune system and other body functions. Moreover, cooking destroys enzymes in live foods. Enzyme reserve seems to be connected to life force, health, and longevity. Enzymes are living biochemical factors that activate and carry out all the biological processes in the body,
Photo by Gary Scott
such as digestion, nerve impulses, detoxification processes, functioning of RNA/DNA, repair and healing of the body, and even the functioning of the mind. There are natural enzymes in raw food, which minimize the enzymes that need to be secreted by the body for digestion. The body’s enzymes can then be converted and used for the process of detoxification, repair, and overall healing. The preservation of our enzymes by eating live foods seems to play an important role in slowing the aging process as well. With age, there seems to be a
significant drop in enzyme reserve. The famous European physician, Dr. Max Bircher-Brenner, who started the first modern live food clinic in 1897, felt that eating raw foods was a way of restoring the diseased body and the mind’s ability to heal itself. Many healers have gotten fantastic results using living foods with their clients. For example, Dr. Edmond Szekely saw over 133,000 clients at his live food clinic in Mexico from 1940 to 1970. With the use of live foods, he healed 90 percent of his patients, of which 17 percent were considered incurable. Later came Ann Wigmore and her clinics, and the next generation including The Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center, which has taken the next step by using live foods not only to heal physical disease, but to actively enhance spiritual life. People have been eating live foods for thousands of years. Cultures who have eaten primarily live foods, such as the Pelegasians (ancient Greeks living in the Peleponnesus area in 3000 B.C. reported by Greek historian Herodotus to live an average of 200 years) and the Essenes seem to have an extended life span and a higher quality of health, vitality, and joy. The foods that we eat, or don’t eat, communicate with our genes—for better or for worse. Foods do not change the genotype, which is the physical structure of the genes, but the food we eat does change the way the message in the genes is expressed in the phenotype. In other words, the genetic messages of our genes can be either turned off or on by the nature of our diet and our lifestyle. The point is to understand how to turn off messages that result in disease and turn on messages that result in health and wellbeing. Through our diets, we literally are able to turn on the healthiest possible expression of genetic information—the phenotypic expression.
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Lifestyle and emotions can also regulate phenotypic expression. For example, when J.M. Barrie, the author of Peter Pan, experienced the traumatic death of his brother, it shut down his phenotypic expression. When he died in his 60s, he was 4’ 10” and never went through puberty—in essence, his story was about himself. From a spiritual point of view, of course, this is important. When people don’t take care of themselves and they finally wake up to the importance of spiritual life, often their physical bodies and their mental states (as affected by the function of the brain) aren’t strong enough to optimize their spiritual pursuits. With this understanding in mind, the importance of eating and living in a way to activate our genes at their highest phenotypic health potential gives us the option to maintain our health for an extended period of time to optimize our spiritual lives. Our genes do not themselves give rise to disease, but rather, in most cases, disease manifests when people live and eat in a way that turns on the poorest phenotypic expression of who we can be. According to Genetic Nutritioneering by Jeffrey S. Bland, gerontologists are now stating that 75 percent of people’s health after the age of 40 is dependant on what they’ve done to keep their genes healthy—and not on the genes themselves. Vitamins and minerals also affect our gene expression. The B vitamins are particularly important—especially B6, B12, and folic acid. These clearly modulate gene activity to protect us against cancer and heart disease, as well as improve brain function. Minerals, of course, play an important role in affecting our phenotypic gene expression. Zinc is Gabriel Cousens, MD one of the most important of these, as it’s involved in over 300 enzymatic reactions. Zinc is important in growth function, immune function and hormonal development. One of the most potent components of food that affects gene expression on the molecular level are phytonutrients. The research in the area of phytonutrients supports the general findings, for example that 82 percent of 156 different published dietary studies found that fruit and vegetable consumption helped protect against cancer. People who eat more fruits and vegetables have about half the risk of cancer mortality than those people who are not vegetable eaters. It is important to note that we are diverse, unique human beings who operate on the principle of biological individuality. Therefore, we must customize our diet according to our constitution, our lifestyle, and obviously our genetic makeup. There are many levels in which to understand the healing and rejuvenating power of live foods, but the simplest way I can explain raw foods is: If it isn’t broken, don’t fi x it. Gabriel Cousens, MD, is a world-renowned spiritual teacher, an expert in raw food nutrition, the founder and director of The Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center, and the author of six books including There Is a Cure for Diabetes and Spiritual Nutrition. Learn more at treeoflife.nu. Join Dr. Cousens live at The World Beat Center in San Diego February 26-28 for “Reversing Diabetes and Spiritual Nutrition.” Presented by The World Beat Center, welovesuperfoods.com and Positive Hope, this special three-day weekend will be Dr. Cousens’ only west coast event this year. Register and learn more at worldbeatcenter.org.
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F E B R UA RY 20 10
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Walking And Running a Mile in Their Shoes © 2010 by Michael Raysses
here I grew up, local politics had all the lure of a rigged yahtzee tournament. Consequently, I couldn’t imagine anything that could make politics seem even remotely interesting. Not even sex. So beyond voting, signing a few petitions, and writing Photo by Terri-Ann Hanlon the occasional e-mail to a congressman, I have no deep connection to politics. This is especially the case when it comes to that sui generis animal of the political realm: sexual politics. If sexual politics is a war, I have always aspired to conscientious objector status. If it is an election, I have abstained. But a couple of instances have made me realize that my position may not be as hermetically sealed as I would believe. I have served food for long enough to know that there are a few situations that you just don’t want any part of. Never take sides in an argument that you may be privy to. If anyone ever asks you their age, never subtract more than 10 percent of what you think they are because it will be obvious that you are exaggerating. Conversely, if someone ever asks you how they look, tell them, verbatim, “Like a million dollars in unmarked bills.” It’s corny but sounds flattering, and whatever its downside, by the time they figure that out, they will be long gone. But there is one quandary that isn’t so readily solved. I was working in a fine-dining establishment. It was a Sunday night, and even slower than most. Now, Sunday night poses myriad problems if you happen to be working in a restaurant. In addition to being typically slow, business-wise, it is also renowned for being the night when the staff is most likely to be negligent because they have expended most of their energy and attention the night before. And the final reason that Sunday night can conjure the perfect storm is because it is the one night that you are most likely to be visited by aliens—not extraterrestrials, but people who don’t normally dine out. I knew there was trouble the minute my manager approached me with darkened eyes and a hushed voice. He had just personally seated a highly distraught customer in my section. It seems that though this person was clearly a man, he was dressed like a woman. He wore a wig that on its best day would have qualified for federal relief as an unnatural disaster. The floral print of his dress was so bright, it would have lent eyesight to the blind. And the high heels he wore groaned pathetically under his considerable weight. What upset the client so deeply was that in the few
Spiritual Counseling Your Inner Journey
minutes he had been in the restaurant, three employees had addressed him as if he were a man, despite his manner of attire. It was now my mission to somehow undo the harm that had been inflicted. I greeted her warmly without referring to gender in any way. (I didn’t want to draw attention to the obvious gaffes my coworkers had made.) She looked like a large bird whose feathers had been severely ruffled. Slowly, I massaged them back into place. I was attentive, and as I felt her relax, I began to play with her, essentially flirting without flirting. Then, she gestured me to come close. I was dreading the fatal “Could you please direct me to the lady’s room?” and as I leaned in, she asked me if there was a public phone available. Without a trace of the relief that washed over me in waves, I directed her to the back of the restaurant. When it came time for her to leave, she offered me her gloved hand. I did what I had to do, the only thing I could do—I kissed it. That seemed to wipe the slate clean, but as she turned to exit, her high heel broke unceremoniously. She stopped as if she’d been shot and tried to jam it back on, but it was no use. As she hobbled out the front door, my last image was of her struggling to regain the equipoise she had struck just a few minutes prior. I was reminded of her recently when reading about Caster Semenya, the female South African runner who is the current world champion in the 800 meters. Ms. Semenya has become an inadvertent lightning rod because of the controversy surrounding her gender. In fact, ever since she qualified for the world championship last August in Berlin, the issue of her biological validity as a woman has been batted back and forth between governments and sports federations alike. Winning the world championship in record time only threw gas on a fire that had established its own manic pace. Her case and the firestorm that it has spawned has engulfed science, sports, politics, and ethics, melding them into a most ungainly braid. As was pointed out in an exhaustive piece on this topic in the November 30, 2009 issue of The New Yorker by Ariel Levy, “The only thing more slippery than the science in the Semenya case is the agendas of the men who have involved themselves in it. There is a bounty of political gain for whoever spins the story most successfully.” What struck me about both the people I have mentioned here is that each one of them wanted nothing more than to walk (or run) in the shoes that they felt fit them best. One example was microcosmic, the other macrocosmic. But underlying both is a core need to be who they are, independent of what others see, expect, or desire of them. To me, those are reasonable expectations. And if we can’t extend ourselves to others by walking in their shoes, metaphorically speaking, then the only option left for us is easy. To walk away. Michael Raysses is a writer/actor/National Public Radio commentator living in Los Angeles. E-mail him at MichaelRaysses@hotmail.com.
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F E B R UA RY 20 10
Op p or t u n i t i e s t o Ch oo s e L o v e by Devin Grace, MA
hat some people may view as a lesson is actually an opportunity to choose love. When we apply this perspective, there is a softening that happens deep within; a whisper that says, “You are not being tested right now; you are being given the opportunity to choose love in this moment.” We are given countless opportunities to choose love every day. We don’t always make that choice and that’s okay because that same opportunity will show up with our next lover, our next job, or our next interaction. If we choose love in the places we are in now, new opportunities arise. So why not choose love in the experiences you presently find yourself? Most of us believe that a new relationship, a new city, or a new job will help us avoid our lessons. Instead, why not work with what we’ve got right in front of us? Our only work is to choose love. What many of us don’t realize is that we actually chose every one of these opportunities before we even came into these bodies—not to torture ourselves, but to help awaken to the true reality of who we are. A great way to view opportunities is to see them as a treasure map that will lead us to the memory of ourselves as one with God and the Love That Is. There is nothing that we can do to separate from that Oneness, but there are things that we can do which bring us closer to the memory of it. When we are given an
m i n d s t a t e s opportunity to choose love instead of fear and we choose the path of love, there is something that sparks within, softly guiding us to remember the love we are because we are the love that we give. When we are given an opportunity and we choose fear, anger, or hatred, there is something inside us that says, “Hmmm, this doesn’t feel so good.” Another voice then whispers, “This is not who you are; it is how you are choosing to show up—but it is not who you are.” At that point, we can be gentle with ourselves and see that we made a mistake. The beauty about mistakes is that they can be corrected. When we feel something other than love in our hearts, it is simply that we have made a mistake, and in that moment we can tell ourselves, “It’s okay; I made a mistake. I forgive myself and I know that there will be another opportunity for me to choose love.” So when something happens and we harshly blame ourselves or another, we can gently remind ourselves that everything that appears to happen is trying to get our attention to choose the only thing we really know—and that is love. When we choose fear, it means that we have momentarily forgotten our True Selves. As we see lessons as opportunities, we begin to look forward to the next chance in life to choose love! Devin Grace, MA is a psychic consultant and energy clearer who for over two decades has helped her clients to remember who they truly are. Please visit DevinGrace.com or call 800.980.7636 for more information. (Find out more about Devin on the back cover of this issue!)
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m i n d s t a t e s
Dr. Richard Bartlett
Love It Or Hate It?
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recent Canadian study measuring the impact of pornography on 20-something-year-old men was unexpectedly cancelled. The reason? Researchers were unable to find a control group of men in their 20s who had not consumed pornography. I think that many men would chuckle after hearing this. And I think that many women could be dismayed— especially the women who are dating those 20-somethingyear-old men. Pornography is a loaded topic, evoking both titillation and deep discomfort. However, the typical knee-jerk reactions do little to help us understand the complexity
of this prevalent yet taboo topic. Pornography touches on many people’s deepest fears and desires—namely sex, pleasure, power, gender relations, idealized beauty, trust, guilt, and self-worth. For this reason, a better understanding of its personal impact is advantageous. The term pornography in this article refers to visual depictions of sexual behavior intended to arouse the viewer through the Internet, DVDs, and cable shows. This article focuses on gender differences, and the potential harms and benefits of pornography consumption. It is not surprising to learn that males are much more likely to enjoy and consume pornography than females. While there is “feminist” pornography, directed by women and featuring more plot, romance, and foreplay, mainstream pornography is primarily created by and for men. Men tend to enjoy visual stimulation more, and seek out sexual novelty. I asked a 39-year-old single male to explain the appeal of daily viewing of porn online. “I find it titillating—I use it for masturbatory fodder,” he openly responded. “It’s lazier mentally because it’s easier; it’s right there. I don’t have to conjure up an image. Looking at porn moves the process along more rapidly.” A 27-year-old man stated, “Women don’t understand that men can have a disconnect with porn—it’s physically stimulating with no emotional attachment.” He tends to choose visual stimuli of women who are different than his current girlfriend because the fantasy of what he does not have is more exciting. He explained that masturbating to online porn keeps him satisfied when his girlfriend has her period, plus offers ideas for positions and scenarios. Men who enjoy pornography explain that it’s easy, an idealized fantasy, or skill building. On the flipside, one man I counseled was turned off by porn because he found it silly. For him, enjoyable sexual arousal required more of an emotional connection, so porn felt contrived and detached. This view resonates more with how many women perceive it. Gender differences are a mix of socialized standards, such as a “boys will be boys” mentality versus “good girls don’t,” as well as innate distinctions that concern wiring of the brain and hormones. A revealing research study monitored male and female college students’ responses to porn, including genital wiring to measure arousal. When asked whether they were aroused by the mainstream videos, most male verbal responses were corroborated by the physical results. Although the female verbal reports indicated much less arousal and interest in the material than the males, their physical measures surprisingly told a different story. Many women were unaware that they were actually aroused. I believe that the results are indicative of the complexity of female sexual response, particularly regarding a complicated topic like porn. Just because a woman has physical sensations of arousal does not mean that she is emotionally, mentally, and socially interested in sexual activity. Women’s thoughts about pornography run the gamut from: it’s exciting and fun, silly and contrived, or offensive and/or threatening. Women who enjoy porn tend to find it exciting for the same reasons that men do: for personal stimulation and to add spice to their relationships. However, a majority of women feel offended or threatened by this media in some way. “If it’s sensual and has a story line, I like it—but not if it’s so mechanical—pull down your pants and then boom, boom, boom,” a 49-year-old woman expressed. Another woman exclaimed, “I don’t like when V I S I O N M AG A Z I N E
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he ejaculates all over; that just grosses me out.” Some women perceive pornography as dirty because of its graphic depiction of an otherwise loving act, and believe that it demeans women overall or degrades real intimacy. A 24-year-old married woman explained that pornography “is not about the sacred act. I think that sometimes people mistake sex with just a sexual act and a complete lack of respect for each other.” Another way in which pornography can feel threatening is by aggravating a woman’s selfesteem and body image issues through the presentation of “perfect” bodies and sexually available women. Some women compare themselves to the bodies on the screen and end up feeling inadequate. Similarly, viewing pornography makes some women feel self-conscious about their own sexual abilities, or afraid that they will be expected to perform like the actors. One common problem pornography brings into relationships is secrecy. Sometimes if a woman discovers that her partner has been viewing pornography, her buttons of disloyalty and cheating are pushed. She may feel hurt and believe that the action represents infidelity. “I have difficultly with my partner viewing porn,” states a 33-year-old woman. “There is the whole thing with feminism about those women, and why they are there [in the porn business]. But what I actually get upset about is…a sense of betrayal.” Masturbation and fantasy can feel threatening to the security of the relationship. Pornography’s impact on relationships and society is not a black and white issue. Sexuality is a large component of healthy and happy living, and with pornography so readily available, erotic images are likely to have a role in relationships, whether adding to the intimate bond or decreasing trust. There are individuals and couples who turn to pornography and erotica to rekindle lagging libidos. They can create variety, excitement, and build greater comfort through an expanded sexual repertoire. In the opposite corner is a growing prevalence of compulsivity around porn use, particularly with men who prefer pornography to their partners, potentially interfering with family, work, health, or social obligations. Although this is not the norm, it is certainly a concern. There are very legitimate reasons to like or dislike pornography. If this article pushes your buttons, or this topic is a concern in your relationship, consider the following questions, which are intended to explore more than automatic reactions. Do you like pornography? Why or why not? How does it make you feel about yourself? How does it make you feel about the opposite gender (or same gender)? What are your biggest fears about pornography? What are your biggest desires? Are you aware of the various types of erotic material available? List three ways that pornography could be harmful for you, and three ways it could be beneficial. These thought-provoking questions can help individuals and couples flourish in sexual communication and fulfillment. In any relationship, both partners need to be responsible for their actions and reactions. The more women and men understand the complexity of pornography’s impact through a holistic lens, the greater their ability to communicate and understand fears and desires, leading to deeper intimacy and healthier relationships. Dr. Jenn Gunsaullus is a sociologist and a relationship and intimacy counselor who helps couples work through the complexity of pornography concerns. She facilitates meaningful communication between women and men and assists individuals and couples to create balanced and fulfilled intimate lives. Contact her at 858.880.5944 or visit couplescounselingsandiego.com. V I S I O N M AG A Z I N E
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Marriage Equality Today r e g i o n a l
by L.S. Kove
ay marriage is not just about marriage. The Declaration of Independence assures us that “all men are created equal,” providing us with “rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” These words are significantly set as “inalienable rights.” The issue here is about people in gay relationships being treated differently than their straight counterparts. For the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) community, this is a fight to end persecution. Presently, California’s Proposition 8 is on federal trial for its constitutionality. Passed by a slim voter majority of four percent, this constitutional amendment outlawed what was an existing civil right for gays to marry. Because the State of California’s Republican Governor and Democratic Attorney General refuse to defend Prop 8 in federal court, proponents are on their own. It is becoming increasingly clear that prejudice was the key ingredient used
to win voter support. Religion was often distorted, as it had been in the past to justify other discriminatory legislative injustices including slavery, the Holocaust, the Inquisition, the Trail of Tears, miscegenation, segregation, women not having the right to vote, colonialism, and more. Prop 8 proponents do not want the court case aired on video. Their names, faces, and statements have already been in the press often. Truth is their enemy. If prejudice is proven and they appear foolish, then followers will be lost, along with the obtainment of power, profit,
prestige, and privilege. Throughout history, “traditional marriage proponents” assert that only the union between “one man and one woman” was ever considered acceptable. That definition of marriage is historically new for humanity. Polygamy as described in the Old Testament has traditional roots. Humanity is at least 7,000 years old,
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and during that time, the definition of the attained contractual kinship referred to as marriage changed often. Records of its actual origin are absent. Historically, there has been recognition of committed gay relationships through contracts. Gay marriage was first recorded in ancient Rome. Ancient Egyptian artifacts revealed the existence of gay relationships as well. However, during the fifth century in Rome, The Theodosian Code provided legal guidance on a wide range of contractual issues, including the prohibition of gay marriage. Religion is at the root of that redefinition. My religion, Reform Judaism, supports gay marriage. As a California resident and lesbian, I am prevented from exercising my freedom of religion due to the passage of Prop 8. If married, I would not be able to share my benefits with my spouse due to the Federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Permitting legal decisions to be based on religious belief begs the question that must be asked: Which religion? The founding fathers, in their imminent wisdom, incorporated into the first amendment that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” Religion is not a legitimate justification for removing the right to equality from any group. Worldwide there are eight nations allowing gay marriage (soon nine: Portugal is anticipated to approve), and six nations considering legislation for gay marriage or civil union. In the United States, gay marriage is allowed in five states and Washington DC will start in March 2010. Gay unions are recognized in 18 states, as well as in Washington DC. Recently, both California and Maine (propositions 8 and 1, respectively) lost the freedom for gay couples to marry through ballot initiatives. In both cases, lies and distortions were spread about LGBT. In California, power brokers within the Democratic Party are trying to delay LGBT activists’ efforts to repeal Prop 8 via ballot initiative proposition in 2010. Part of the reasoning is the race for the California governorship. Equality is a non-partisan issue, but governors’ races are not. Democratic leaders view gay marriage ballot issues negatively. They and the most powerful leadership in LGBT organizations utilize their own set of distortions, having done everything they could to create a self-fulfilling prophecy that a repeal is doomed in 2010. The argument they use to make their case is based on statistical minutiae. Those activists who recognize the grassroots strategies of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California, are working to restore equality in 2010. They have a social networking Web site for training and creating teams to gather petition signatures. Obtaining movement in social justice is not based on time. Time is neutral. Success comes from hard work to attain change. If the petition succeeds, the real challenge in 2010 will be getting out the vote. Fifty-one percent of voting Californians now support gay marriage. Powerful LGBT leadership opposing the restoration of equality in 2010 also resisted the federal challenge to Prop 8. The lawyers for that challenge are heterosexual—one a Republican and the other a Democrat—and they refuse to allow those unwilling LGBT organizations a seat at the table. Attorneys Olson and Boies have every intention of winning and believe that they can by proving that Prop 8 was fueled by discrimination. The outcome of this trial will not be known until it reaches the Supreme Court in 2012. The present consistency of the court does not appear to be supportive of LGBT. Rumsfeld vs. Forum challenged the bigotry of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) in the military, but all that Chief Justice Roberts fi xated on was money. Apparently for the majority of the Justices, LGBT equality is not a priority, but money is. Republican attorney Olson has won litigation at the Supreme Court before and is not intimidated. If anybody can sway conservative Supreme Court Justices Kennedy, Alito, and Roberts, it is Olson. Get involved at restoreequality2010.com or sign the petition at signforequality.com. L.S. Kove is the Executive Director of the Department of Defense (DOD) Federal Globe, a nonprofit that advocates for LGBT employees of the DOD. Learn more at dodfedglobe.com. This article is based solely on Ms. Kove’s views and is not intended in any way to represent the opinion of the DOD.
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“I believe that Shari Arison can play a crucial role in our achieving world peace, and Birth is an important first step in that journey. Her book teaches us that it is through inner peace that we can create larger, global change. Birth connects the material to the spiritual, and provides a blueprint—for both businesses and individuals alike—of a new world about to be born.” —Brian L. Weiss, M.D., author of Many Lives, Many Masters www.arison.com www.phoenixbooksandaudio.com
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Images of Spirit:
Beauty of the Aging Woman by Bente Mirow
eauty is in the eye of the beholder, but the beholder has been manipulated. Culture and the media have led us to believe that female beauty belongs only to those who are young and skinny. As the female body changes with age, so do our perceptions of it. Body image and confidence rule many women’s lives, leading to a perpetual pursuit of the perfect physical form. Media projections of the ideal female shape amount to nothing less than a massive lie about what a female body really looks like. What most women see in the mirror has little to do with the endless images of “perfect” women who seem to populate the glossy (and often airbrushed) world—whether it be too much skin that can move independently, pouches extending out too far, or lines reflecting lifetimes of love, difficulties and laughter. Each of us sees the world and ourselves in it, not as it is, but as we are conditioned to see it. For women, this is often a reflection of the confusing contradiction between our bodies as an advertising tool and the body we see most often, not on film, TV, and magazine pages, but in the streets. Most mirrors will reflect what happens to a woman’s body as she ages and refuses to overrule nature with plastic surgery or medical interventions, combined with an unwillingness to devote the kind of time and energy it takes to keep up the perfect appearance. The mirror doesn’t lie, but neither does the eye of the camera when worked by a skilled photographer as a cultural mirror. The photographer has the power to project beauty in ways and places that we do not always perceive it to be. Marin County photographer, Glen Graves, wants to help change what constitutes female beauty. For nearly 10 years, Graves has been working on a project that he calls “Images of Spirit,” involving women over 40 celebrating the beauty that comes with aging without needing to hide or change the stories scribbled on their maturing or matured bodies. The stories told by each woman in this photographic project reflect her ability to see through her own darkness to attain a heightened understanding and appreciation for who she is. Graves aims to help redefine beauty in a way that defies the traditional cultural definitions and as such, presents each woman’s unique beauty through the telling of her own story, the lessons she has learned, and her personal, spiritual and emotional evolution. The women involved have taken the bold step to reveal themselves in body and soul to make this statement: Real beauty and happiness come from doing the hard work of dealing with life’s challenges, listening to our internal voice, dancing to our inner music, and letting our light and beauty shine through to the world. Some of the women simply wanted the world to see that they are beautiful, desirable and proud. These are women who are not willing to fade graciously into the wallpaper, to be considered unattractive or dismissed as old and useless. They embrace their age with no desire to be younger, knowing that their hard earned experiences and wisdom reflect back to the world a different kind of beauty. Graves developed this project as a result of becoming a single parent to a 15-year-old son and a 12-year-old daughter amid nagging concerns over how to give his children a solid foundation for their future when issues of body image, peer pressure, personal sexuality, and media manipulation took center stage. As he realized that the lessons and values that we obtain in our early years are likely to stay with us for a lifetime—both the positive and the negative ones—a desire formed to further the discussion of what is really of value in our lives and how we can go about becoming whole and happy human beings. “My personal and professional goal was to create images that challenge this culture’s commercialized perception of beauty and show that beauty comes in all ages, shapes and sizes,” says Graves. “The pursuit of the ‘perfect’ woman has created a mythical image of the female form that is virtually unattainable and has been a devastating burden for so many of our youth V I S I O N M AG A Z I N E
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and an issue for all of us as we grow older.” Comparing the aging of our bodies to nature, as Graves does in his brief introduction to the project—through trees bearing scars, growing twisted, or losing limbs, creek beds altered, and rocks eroded by water and cracked in half by the forces of nature— women’s bodies show the bearing of children, loss of breasts, softening, wrinkling, slowing, living, loving, survivals, and triumphs. The photos are outstandingly sensitive to the women expressing themselves in the nude. Graves interviews the woman to find out what she wants to express, then makes himself invisible while trying to pursue truth in the images he captures. The woman writes a short accompanying commentary to create a synergy to guide the viewer into a greater understanding of her as an individual, her statement and how she has embraced the changes in her life. One of the women involved with the project, Sashana, comments: “As women over 40, we have the opportunity to contribute, to help our culture remember what beauty is about. We have been told over and over that our bodies are not beautiful unless they conform to a strict code that has more to do with control and deprivation than celebration of life, embodiment and spirit. At whatever age we are, it is not too late to learn to celebrate the bodies we live in, to honor them for the wonderful houses they are and to see their form as what makes us beautiful creatures of nature. When we are deep within our own psyches, connected to all those who have come before us and those who will follow, we have a deep knowing of beauty and it transcends the body. Looking at each other through these eyes can only bring healing.” Photography has the ability to challenge assumptions and Graves’ approach and artistic vision is based in non-attachment. Filled with information about how the woman he is working with sees herself and wishes to be seen, he releases expectations to be free to resonate with the present and the environment at hand. He focuses on the constant flux of life through his lens. Grounded in his technical skills, he becomes the observer who intuitively knows the moment when he is able to reflect back the image of the woman’s spirit as revealed in her expression of herself and her body. As Graves captures those moments of mature women’s spirit with his camera, he moves beyond the notion of photography as a snapshot of reality, blending the impermanence of nature and the human vessel into a moment of transformation. Such an aesthetic journey into the spirit of the aging woman encourages new insights into what might constitute female beauty while silencing any question of the photographer’s role as cultural commentator. Philosopher Joseph Campbell once said, “It is not until the later stages of one’s life that you look back and see that each experience has a symmetry and reason and fits perfectly into the fabric of your life.” Applied to the experience of aging and whatever our bodies’ challenges might be or have been, the photographer gives the viewers an opportunity to examine their own attitudes towards a difficult and uncomfortable subject. V I S I O N M AG A Z I N E
c u l t u r e ”I know that aging women are beautiful,” says Sashana. “Glen is a bridge between this knowledge and society’s vision of beauty. With an eye for the link between inner and outer beauty, he is able to produce images that will jar the memory of all who look at them so that they remember the knowing they have inside about the truth of beauty.” So when the eye of the beholder beceomes unconditioned from subscribing to a perceived truth of beauty, able to see the human body as a reflection of time and nature, perhaps we will start to recognize female beauty as kindness, charm, emotional maturity and personality, as reflected on her body and gracefully adjusted through time. Learn more about Glen Graves at primostella.com or contact gleng@primostella. com. Bente Mirow is a freelance writer and editor living in San Rafael, CA. Visit her at writes-of-fancy.com or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Adrienne Abeyta presents a unique forecast that blends the tarot with astrology. A gifted reader of intuitive arts, she offers private consultations and psychic entertainment for parties and events: Fivemuses.com. To set up an appointment, she can be reached at 619.917.0998 or Adrienne@fivemuses.com. (See her ad at the bottom of the page)
Aries: Justice (3 of Pentacles) 3/21-4/19 Juggling too many projects can lead to sloppy errors, as can working without proper guidelines. Your work may be scrutinized this month for being less than acceptable. Before getting pulled in different directions, it would be wise to finish what you’ve started. If not, you might not be able to handle the consequences. Be cautious of learning institutions, certifications, and business logistics, and do the appropriate background checks before investing time and money. This is also a good time to begin consolidating records and receipts for taxes. Don’t take any shortcuts with rules and regulations—Big Brother is watching! Taurus: Lovers (Queen of Cups) 4/20-5/21 A deeply emotional experience connects you to past memories in a way that is irrational and mysterious. You may think that you are in control of your choices, but when you look deeper, you’ll realize that most of your actions are motivated by subconscious feelings. Take inventory of your current relationships, home life, work, spiritual practice, health and finances. Notice how these areas relate to your state of being. Often a mixed-up inner world translates to a mixed-up outer world. To make conscious decisions is to be aware of the motivations behind them. Take a closer look. Gemini: Wheel of Fortune (8 of Wands) 5/22 – 6/21 Changes on the horizon promise an exciting time ahead. Travel is possible around the end of the month. Business ventures rooted in the past year finally begin to show favorable outcomes. Don’t be too hasty though, or you might turn an opportunity into a struggle—it’s all about timing right now. You may need to consolidate some of your current projects to free the space needed for these changes. Life has a peculiar way of giving just what is needed, so don’t swim against the current. Just let it flow. Cancer: Hanged Man (King of Cups) 6/22 – 7/22 No need to sit in sorrow, for what is blue now, may be purple tomorrow. Feelings simply color our state of being. Moods, like the tides, are a natural, flowing phenomenon. Where do they originate, what causes the change in motion, and how do they appear so different on the surface than from beneath? Be aware of how your feelings shift from circumstance to circumstance. Then, resist identifying with these feelings and instead, just notice. You are not your moods! Be wary of people around you whose energy is draining, and in return, be careful not to project your woes on others. Leo: Magician (3 of Swords) 7/23 – 8/23 The mind is the master illusionist; it interprets a whole story out of pieces of information and then fools you into believing that it is the truth. The problem arises, however, when your truth collides with a different truth, and worse still, when that other truth belongs to someone you love or trust. The challenge lies in how to reconcile these differences. Refrain from making assumptions or sweeping statements because it will limit your ability to learn new information. Your thoughts are based on what you believe. When you expand your mind and challenge your own beliefs, you open your life to possibilities. Virgo: Hierophant (Queen of Pentacles) 8/24 – 9/22 The search for meaning can take the form of several different paths, and as you walk one, you begin to fill yourself with external gratifications and selfknowledge. These experiences form your values, and in some ways, change the course of your life. However, if clung to, they can also become the basis for unrealistically high standards. Be careful not to set your sights only on comfort and material successes. If your identity is contingent upon what you possess and your sanity upon stability, you’ll only be half a person.
Libra: Temperance (9 of Wands) 9/23 – 10/23 Balance has certainly become the new buzz word, although its meaning is often ambiguous. The misunderstanding of this ancient concept is rooted in the dualism of the mind. Balance doesn’t mean this or that, nor does it mean the avoidance of conflict. Its meaning is more closely related to the concept of cooking. It is the blending of different ingredients: experiences, opinions, thoughts, feelings and conflicts to create a new recipe for living. Let down your guard and participate in this great experiment called life. Temper your feelings of resentment with compassion; fear with trust; apathy with curiosity; and idealism with practicality. Scorpio: Chariot (10 of Wands) 10/24 – 11/22 If you want to bring passion and excitement into your life, begin by reviving your current projects or relationships with new enthusiasm. Or, be courageous enough to let them go altogether. When pulled in opposite directions of freedom and obligation, it’s wise to rise above your ego and follow a purposeful direction. Don’t let the rebel usurp the responsible one in a whim of restlessness. However, watch that the traditionalist doesn’t stifle the urge of inspiration. There’s only a thin line between the two, and you as the master must guide for the greater good. Sagittarius: Hermit (2 of Cups) 11/23 – 12/21 The people in your life, whether family or long-time friends; romantic relationships or clandestine affairs; co-workers, teachers, roommates, doctors and even your enemies, have all left their marks on your evolution. They have all impressed something important upon you which influences the way you see yourself. However, there are times in life when it is necessary to decompress from all this. This could be challenging if you are in a relationship or part of a family, but anything is doable. Create a sacred space to spend time alone. If you are longing for a relationship, use this time to court yourself and find ways to relish your own splendor. Capricorn: Tower (2 of Wands) 12/22– 1/20 You’re in the process of deconstruction, and there’s still some rubble to salvage. Whatever fell apart or didn’t turn out as planned last month has left some unexpected options to work with. Don’t fall into dismay over a loss or you’ll miss out on what’s left. There’s room for you to build a more viable foundation. You’ll find that when you’re least expecting it, someone with a similar vision will surface. This is a prime time for sharing resources, so be practical about what you want and stay open to receiving it. Aquarius: Emperor (5 of Pentacles) 1/21 – 2/18 Stability is often mistaken for control. Feeling stable is based upon a confident knowing that in any circumstance, you will remain secure in your own right. Nothing can take that away from you. Like any good leader knows, it’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. This is one of those times. You will be challenged in an area that relates to your security and, although the results could be dismal, this too will pass. Fathers and bosses could be implicated in this quandary, as they play a part in lessons of authority. Pisces: Star (Page of Swords) 2/19 – 3/20 If wishes were wings, you could fly above your problems until they were merely specks of starlight. This is possible when you develop self-confidence. The commentary in your head can be relentless, pointing out pitfalls before they even exist. The mind, like a child, will taunt you until you react out of anger or recoil out of fear. Don’t believe everything you hear—especially the ranting in your head! A seemingly hopeless situation turns out to have a dim light at the end of the tunnel. Keep your faith strong and focus on the solution, not the problem.
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e a r t h w a t c h Chu said, “To prevent the worst effects of climate change, we must accelerate our efforts to capture and store carbon in a safe and cost-effective way.” Governments in Europe, Australia, Canada and China are also strongly investing in the technology. Nevertheless, several massive hurdles still stand in the way of full-scale CCS deployment. U.K. consulting firm McKinsey figures that adding CCS to the next generation of European power plants could lift their price by up to $1.3 US billion each. Their thorough analysis (mckinsey.com) shows that the typical cost of a demonstration project is likely to be in the range of $80-$120 per ton of CO2 sequestered. Legally, there are concerns over whether CO2 transport and long-term storage present human by Rowan Oloman or ecosystem related risks and who is ultimately Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is being hailed as the responsible if a leak occurs. While progress is underway answer to the globe’s most pressing question of what to do in some countries, no country has yet developed the with the 27 billion metric tons of CO2 emitted yearly from comprehensive, detailed legal and regulatory framework the burning of fossil fuels. Touted as the most promising that is necessary to effectively govern the use of CCS. interim solution to deal with the greenhouse gas responsible In fact, no full-scale CCS project that captures for global warming, CCS still remains unproven, costly and sequesters CO2 from a coal-fired power plant and will not be commercially available for another 10-20 exists as of yet. The IEA is hopeful that 10 full-scale years. Meanwhile scientists are exploring alternatives to demonstration plants will be up and running globally Electro-reduction of CO2 (ERC) prototype machine CCS by capitalizing on CO2 as a commodity instead of by 2015, meaning it may be 10 to 20 years before CCS treating it as a waste. technology is readily available. So why expensively transport and store the CO2 underground when it could be Twenty-seven billion tons of CO2 is already a hefty number but energy-related profitably recycled post-capture? carbon dioxide emissions are projected to reach 43 billion metric tons per year Researchers and startup companies are now investigating a wide range of CO2 by 2030—an increase of 60 percent. A new report by the International Energy conversion methods. Agency (IEA) estimates that growing energy demands from emerging giants like “The market is open for innovation,” said Larry Kristof, CEO of Mantra China and India, coupled with a lack of cost-effective alternatives to fossil fuels, Energy (mantraenergy.com), a company gaining international recognition in the means that by 2050, 77 percent of the world’s power will still be derived from field of carbon recycling. “It is likely that governments will soon legally mandate fossil fuels. carbon capture from industrial plants and there needs to be a cost-effective way “We will require immediate policy action and a technological transition on an to implement it.” unprecedented scale,” IEA Executive Director Nobuo Tanaka said in Tokyo after Mantra’s technology, named the electro-reduction of carbon dioxide, (ERC), releasing the report. aims to take CO2 directly from industrial waste gases and convert it to formate Carbon capture and storage (CCS), the process of capturing carbon dioxide and salts and/or formic acid, both valuable chemicals used in a variety of industrial storing it in deep geological formations, in the ocean or as mineral carbonates, is applications. Formic acid also has the potential to play a leading role in fuel cell being promoted by the IEA and others as the most promising technology to deal continued on page 40 with fossil-fuel derived emissions. Not negating the role of alternative energies, the IEA is merely realistic about the enduring use of fossil fuels and the urgent need to deal with the resulting carbon dioxide. Last year, U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu announced at the National Coal Council that $2.4 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will be used to expand and accelerate the commercial deployment of CCS technology, including financing to train a generation of engineers and geologists to work in the field.
An Alternative to Carbon Capture and Storage
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Powerful Prowess by Marlene Buffa
he human animal mirrors all other sexual species in many ways. As we observe mating habits of mammals, birds and the rest of the animal kingdom, the basic similarities in propagating the genetic code causes us to take note of our primal functions. As with all manner of convincing and winning over in life, the politics of sex permeates almost every routine in daily life. The power of sex—from conquering to submitting—results from our internal drive and almost subconscious maneuvering to do or say whatever it takes to win a willing partner. Subliminal Seduction Wilson Bryan Key, in his 1974 work entitled, Subliminal Seduction: Are You Being Sexually Aroused by This Picture?, analyzes the effects of subconscious stimulation by the advertising industry on an unwitting public. Citing experiments and uncovering then-difficult tricks of photography, his avant-garde conclusions drew the suspicions of the academic as well as the private sector. From highspeed flashes of popcorn images in movie trailers which purportedly enticed the audience to make a trip to the concession stand, to carefully placed and imaged ice cubes in liquor print ads, Key posited the futility in resisting the coercion of these suggestions. In our daily lives, we face myriad suggestions for compulsive action. As
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technological advances progress, our attention spans diminish proportionally. Thinking ourselves immune from the sexual innuendos of the media, we nonetheless buy products or align with services which allow us to feel more potent about our cunning. Finding the biggest and most robust cell phone service equates to our savvy in selecting the most desirable option from the herd of available choices. Size The mystique of Priapos, a minor God with a major asset in Greek mythology, (or Priapus in Roman mythology) allures the minds of many, even today. The son of Aphrodite and Dionysus, this symbol of health and fertility personified the irony of impotence, ugliness and foul-mindedness. Gifted with the largess of seeming readiness, Priapos’ demise befell him when the time came to perform. In the political world today, we easily mistake the elected office with effectiveness. We hold politicians to our expectations to do the right thing, at the right time, for the right reasons, forgetting that they, too, may fall flat when it comes time to satisfy their constituents. While the size of the instrument—be it phallic or pen—looms impressive, the true measure of planting seeds in the hearts and minds of others lies in the quality of the person. Power The media titillates us with relationships between a young, taut woman and an accomplished older man. Whispers confirm his virility by nature of such a youthful counterpart, and her attraction to this man with whom she shares little in common. His status and power seduce her, and in exchange, she offers her youth and beauty. Each party receives mutual benefit, instigated by the wagging tongues of the tabloids. Men in powerful positions find themselves surrounded by eager women whose sexual gratification may be forestalled by the romance of his importance. Drawn naturally to distinguished people and institutions, we choose to align ourselves continued on page 41
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hen Melissa suspected her husband Matt of having an affair, she panicked. She’d been married for 14 years and, admittedly, their relationship had flat-lined. She wasn’t even sure she still loved him, but she was damned if she was going to let some other young thing take him away from her—and who would pay the mortgage if that happened? So she embarked on a campaign to win him back. She bought sexy lingerie, cooked his favorite meals, and took an interest in his work. She even ironed his socks. But it didn’t work. One month later, Matt asked for a divorce. Turned out he didn’t have another woman in his life; he’d just lost interest in the one he had. When relationships become so domesticated that we try to fix them with an even bigger dose of domesticity, it’s a sure sign that the sexual spark (and a whole lot more) has died a domestic death. As every politician knows, a successful campaign must cater to the values, mindset and ethics of its target audience. So if we’re trying to win the “yes” vote in love, we must get to know the hearts and minds of our constituents. To be successful in the long term, however, we must also ensure that we’re being genuine and heartfelt, guided by love, and committed to cultivating mutual trust and respect. Yet, all too often, just like politicians, we spin a story based on ideals—we distort ourselves, hide the parts we don’t like, and cater to what we think the other person wants in order to be loved and accepted
l i v i n g a r t s by them. We’ve all developed strategies and devices to attract, seduce and manipulate the opposite sex. We may use the promise or denial of sex or love as a way to get what we want in relationships, often without even realizing we’re doing it. Or we may try to meet the needs of our partner in an attempt to earn their love or make ourselves indispensable. But unless we can demonstrate and embody the very acceptance that we’re trying to get from our partner, with all of these strategies, our relationships will fail to bring us the lasting love and fulfillment that we all, deep down, really want. Healthy self-acceptance is one of the most powerful natural aphrodisiacs on the planet. It may not seem like a very sexy trait, but it’s the key to true intimacy, emotional freedom and sexual passion. When the honeymoon period is over, the fabric of a relationship becomes clear. Without a strong foundation of love, acceptance, trust and respect, sex is rarely meaningful or lasting. In the absence of solid self-acceptance, we can become needy, dependent, jealous, resentful and insecure, unable to fully express our feelings, retain our sense of self, make healthy boundaries, or truly love another. Like the hidden agenda that ultimately brings dishonest politicians to their knees, a lack of healthy self-acceptance in relationships leads to mind games, survival strategies and an erosion of our potential for passion. The good news is that, unlike other aphrodisiacs, self-acceptance can be administered in massive doses, every hour of every day, with no ill effects. In fact, you can never have too much of it. The more we practice healthy acceptance of self and others, the more it comes back to us in our lives. And the emotional self-sufficiency that results is extremely magnetic and attractive to others. When we have strong self-acceptance, we are confident in our abilities and value; we are honest about our feelings and we express our opinions; we say no to any abuse, disrespect or manipulation; we make healthy choices and avoid any compromises continued on page 41
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Intimacy Through Sound by Joule L’adara,
Carmelle Moore, Elvina Munir and Kieran Riordan Carmelle Moore and Kieran Riordan
atisfying intimacy is what we all long for. It is nourishing, affirming, healing and peace-giving. There is such potential for delight in the dance of intimate interaction, and such potential for disappointment due to differing masculine and feminine preferences in giving and receiving. The essence of tantra goes beyond the common misunderstanding of spiritual sexual athleticism. Tantric wisdom invites us to use any of our sensory faculties to be de-lighted, to feel so good that we easily align with the blissful source of who we are. Exquisite sound, like sensitive touch, is a natural sensory pathway to melt defenses and be opened to your ecstatic fullness. Sharing such vibratory shifts with a partner allows a more fulfilling experience of intimacy.
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We would like to offer two introductory exercises exploring intimacy through sound. We believe that these partner play activities honor both masculine and feminine essences and will therefore joyfully deepen your intimate play. Intimacy through Sound Exercises Preparation: Intention Setting Start by sitting down and facing each other. Set your intentions by creating a “sacred space” and asking out loud for this work to be guided by the Light to bring about the highest good for all beings. Ask all other negative energies to kindly leave. Also ask that this space be safe and protected. Put this in your own words and have fun with it. Then sit for a time silently
looking into each other’s eyes. Partner Sounding with Voice Still facing one another, close your eyes. Start to entrain your breath—this means inhaling and exhaling in sync, slowly expanding, lengthening, elongating and deepening your breath together. Allow this breath work to go on for some time. Next begin a gentle hum together. Start out in unison by matching one another’s pitch. Make sure it is a comfortable note for both of you within your vocal range—if one of you is straining, you can change to another note and your partner should follow. Relax your neck and throat. Try experimenting by moving your lips and tongue around while producing this hum to change the resonance within your mouth. Listen to the Encinitas subtle changes coming from your Insurance Agency partner and respond in playfulness. Now starting with the hum, slowly open your mouth to an open “ah” (760) 942-5555 sound and then allow the mouth to slowly close back into a hum again. 148 N. El Camino Real Play around with high and low Encinitas tones, as well as with going back Scott@Allstate.com and forth between hum and ah, CA Lic: 0686321 weaving in and out of your partner’s hum and ah. Remember that there is no right and wrong here, but there San Diego's only are different levels of listening and Certified Green reacting to one another. Next experiment with various Insurance Agency vowel sounds: ah, ei, ee, oh, uu. Pay attention to how the creation of these different vowels makes you feel. What emotional qualities do you sense coming from your partner when listening to his/her sounds? Stripped of the meaning that consonants create forming words, what does your partner sound like when you are hearing pure sound com© 2009 Allstate Insurance Company allstate.com munication? Listen with your full
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body—see how open and vulnerable you can allow yourself to be and how much of this person you can take in. Lastly, slowly reverse the process, going from the open vowels, to just hum and ah, then just hum, and finally, allowing the hum to slowly diminish to pure breath, inhaling and exhaling together in synchronization. Partner Sounding with Instruments Preparation: Gather several sound and sensory devices and have them close at hand. This may include Tibetan bowls, chimes, bells, drums, and rattles, as well as musical instruments. If you don’t have many formal instruments, you can also use glasses and bowls (with and without water), mugs, pots, or wooden spoons. Be creative, selecting objects based on the pleasing tones they produce whether played, struck or rubbed. Also it is great to have a selection of other sensory objects, like feathers, soft fabrics, aromatic flowers, and essential oils. Before beginning, be sure to set your intentions together using the guidelines above. Start with one partner lying down with a cloth or eye cushion placed over his/her eyes. If at any time, the listener is uncomfortable, he/she should feel free to say so out loud so that the partner can make adjustments. Begin to create sounds around your partner, not too loud or too close to the ears. With chimes and small to medium Tibetan bowls, you can even place them on the body. Continue to synchronize your breath with your partner while still playing sounds. Allow your mind to relax and intuitively play the sounds in the order and variety that will best serve your partner in this moment. Keep sounds gentle and soft, allowing enough space in between for them to ring out and resonate with one another, but avoid periods of silence here, as this can create anticipation or tension in the listener. It is ideal to create a steady, slow and almost rhythmical pattern to create maximum sonic support for your partner. Once the sound play has finished, use a large feather to stroke or brush the auric field of your partner from head to toe without touching the body. While doing this, visualize that you are clearing away any energetic debris that may have come to the surface during the sound massage. Next take a drop or two of your favorite essence or essential oil and rub between your hands. Quietly ask your partner to take a deep breath as you circle your
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i n n e r h e a l i n g palms about four inches above his/her face, over the body, and down to the feet. Visualize that you are sealing the auric field with this beautiful fragrance. To complete the session, gently touch your partner’s shoulder and ask him/ her to move the fingers and toes. When ready, your partner can remove the eye cushion. After sound work with either voice or instruments, it is very important to allow space for the blessing of silence at the end of these exercises. It is in the silence after the sounds have ended where some of the most profound healing and connection can occur. Resisting the urge to immediately fall back into idle conversation, have the courage to hold the silence together for awhile, or possibly an entire evening. You may be surprised to discover a deeper level of intimacy together that words cannot begin to express. Joule L’adara is the founder of Sounding Circles in Hawaii. Carmelle Moore is the creator of VoiceMoves Yoga and facilitates InterPlay throughout Australia. Elvina Munir is Elvina Munir playing energy chimes on the body the founder of Harmonic Healing and manufactures beautiful sound healing instruments. Kieran Riordan is a Transpersonal Psychologist with a practice in Byron Bay. Joule, Carmelle, Elvina and Kieran will be co-facilitating the Sounding Circles Retreat in May 2010 at Kalani on the Big Island, Hawaii: soundingcircles.com
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Liberation 2010: We Are M
A Conversation with M by Sydney L.
010 marks a new decade that I believe will be filled with untold progress and promise of what so many of us are creating in our world. It’s a world where we reach out to others in need, where there is no judgment against those who may be different, and where we each commit to being the very best person we can be on a daily basis. We must face our fears, embrace those we love, and never stop living the life we are here on this beautiful Earth to live. I recently had the chance to speak to Mark Anthony Lord, an inspiring person who has created Liberation 2010. A spiritual conference for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community, as well as for their allies and friends, Liberation 2010 will create a space for everyone to come together and freely express the greatness that lives within each of us. Vision Magazine: What was your inspiration to create the Liberation 2010 conference? Mark Anthony Lord: When I was finishing ministry school, I had two choices in my mind and my heart: move to Chicago and open the Bodhi Spiritual Center or work in the LGBT world. Through my prayer work and meditation, it became clear that I was supposed to move to Chicago and open the Bodhi Spiritual Center—which I did six years ago. I put the vision of working in the LGBT world on the shelf. About a year and a half ago, it kind of popped off the shelf and landed back in my heart. I can’t deny this thing in me that wants to do this work. My relationship with what I call God and healing my shame around being gay and my own homophobia opened me up to a spiritual life that is so phenomenal. That’s the journey that I’m on and I have the sense that so many LGBT people are on that journey too. It’s a sexy, colorful community. We’re also destructive [and] addicted. Underneath it all, I think we’re very spiritual people. So the vision of the conference came to me as a way to bring this fragmented, beautiful tribe back together for three days and co-create a phenomenal, joyous experience for our sexuality and our spirituality. VM: Tell me more about the Bodhi Spiritual Center. MAL: We average about 350 people on a Sunday, but we have a lot more. It’s a pretty loose group of people. We don’t do guilt or obligations. People come when they’re inspired to come. It’s really dynamic and very creative. The Web site is bodhispiritualcenter.org. What’s beautiful about this community is that it’s so diverse. I think it’s a little microcosm of the new consciousness of what we’re becoming. Sunday mornings in America are the most segregated times of the week in our country. In our community, it’s the opposite. If you look at the audience on Sunday, you see black, white, gay, straight, young and old—all of the people who are ready for a new consciousness. This is the place where you come and be who you are. We’re not here to judge; we’re here to help reveal who you are. A lot of religions have rules on V I S I O N M AG A Z I N E
how to be good, but they’re operating from the external form. Then there’s the guilt and all this “I can’t be good, but I’m tying to be good.” What we teach is that when you’re free of all the layers of guilt, shame and trying to be good, your own inherent goodness will rise up and you’ll start living from that source. VM: Tell me a little bit about your background. I know you trained to be a minister, but who else is Mark Anthony Lord? MAL: I am an irreverent reverend. I was raised Catholic. I was a little gay boy who was very artistic and I loved to sing and dance. I was kind of all of the stereotypes and the one who was picked on in the playground. It was a very scary childhood and I think that a lot of LGBT people have post-traumatic stress syndrome. At least I can speak to that in the sense that every day when I was at school, I was afraid of being picked on, laughed at, and possibly beaten up—so you get that hyper-vigilant part of you that is always on guard. Fortunately, I had a family that was blue collar and very loving. They didn’t know anything about homosexuality— but they didn’t have any judgment about it either. I was accepted for who I was. When I was about 22 or 23, I started getting into a lot of sex and drugs and had to get into a 12-step recovery. That was when my life really started turning around because I needed a higher power. The 12-steps teach that it’s a spiritual disease and you need a spiritual solution. So I sat there at 25 thinking, I’m going to die if I don’t do something. That’s when my work began of redefining what my higher power was and healing the baggage of growing up Catholic and feeling guilty. I started to read every book, from Shirley MacLaine’s Out On a Limb, to [books by] Wayne Dyer and Cindy McCain p Deepak Chopra—everything I could get my hands on. When I look at my life, I think that there has to be a higher plan. I was raised in Detroit, where if you graduated high school, that was good enough; you just went and worked in a factory. I think that going beyond all that to getting a graduate degree is a gift of being gay—at least for me. It caused me to explore a sense of belonging and wholeness outside of that system I was living in. VM: Where do you think we stand today regarding the LGBT population in the United States? MAL: I think that there is a lot more acceptance than what we see on the news. The polls will say that a lot of people really don’t care. It’s really the fundamentalists, the religious right, and the politicians. If you really sit down with people, a lot of us want to just let people live and be who they are. There is enormous sexual shame in America—the puritanical vein that runs through our sexuality. Live and let live is a great step, but the next level is getting to a place of appreciation, curiosity, and support. It’s one thing to say, “Transgenders are fine and I don’t care if you’re transgender,” but it’s another thing to say, “Tell me about it, I’m curious.” We keep our curiosity at bay because we don’t want to offend. We’re so trained to be politically correct, but our curiosity is where we’re going to delve into each other’s stories and create a better sense of connection.
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VM: Why do you think that there is so much fear surrounding the LGBT sector of our society? MAL: Our systems are homophobic: our school system, our government, and our church system. Since the 80s, churches have been coming out and being gayaffirming—but it’s not been even 50 years of people really starting to have this conversation. Here’s the deeper thing. Fear. All homophobia is fear. That’s all it is. Homophobia is an idea and fear found something to attach to. It’s women, it’s minorities— anything that fear can tag onto so that people can project their own fears outside themselves and point at someone else. Then they feel okay in the moment. It’s a false security, because they’re just projecting their own sense of unworthiness. Currently, what’s risen up in consciousness is that it’s time to address homophobia. That’s why we’re having marriage laws and facing those issues. VM: How do you think we can begin to address the discriminatory practices and attitudes towards the LGBT population? MAL: This is where the conference is so important; it’s about bringing the LGBT people together to provide a space with love. If you have a sense inside that there is something wrong with you for being a woman, and if I make a negative comment about women, you’re going to get triggered. But if you don’t have that belief and you have a sense of wholeness, when someone makes a comment, you may not like it, but you’ll be able to help out and educate—or if you’re really spiritually sound, you’ll realize that this person is just afraid right now. The focus of the conference is getting LGBT population, y McCain poses for the NOH8 campaign Photo by Adam Bouska family and friends together. [It’s] getting to that sense of wholeness, that vibration of love and inclusion so that when we go back out into the world, we don’t react and attack back, but we educate and include. When Martin Luther King and his followers went out and marched, they would pray for the people they were marching against. He knew that they were trapped in racism—they were trapped in hell. He knew he was one with them. That’s the kind of consciousness I want to develop. At Liberation, we’ll be doing a lot of forgiveness work. We’ll have an afternoon experience when everyone is going to co-create a declaration to the world from us. We’re done playing the attack game. That consciousness really starts to create change. LGBT people everywhere are going to start feeling better about themselves and that’s going to ripple into families, churches, and friends. We’re not like any other minority. We’re every race, we’re every age, and we’re in every village. It’s unique in that you can’t detect it because it’s everywhere. VM: Do you believe the world is changing for the better? MAL: I look at it from two different vantage points. The first is, yes, we’re evolving. Each time one person shifts in their consciousness and expands in love, we’re getting better. At one point in history, women were not even allowed to vote. Their husbands could beat them and the courts would say that she’s his property. So we can say that we’ve come a long way and that humanity is waking up. V I S I O N M AG A Z I N E
If we wait for the world “out there” to change, our lives are going to come and go. Ultimately, the evolution of humanity is going to take place within individuals. It’s when you and I say, “I’m not going to be a victim to the world’s beliefs. I’m done playing the game. I’m stepping off the roller-coaster ride. I’m not buying a ticket. I’m going to be the consciousness that says that I’m responsible for my life and for creating a loving world.” When we step off the ride, that’s the shift that is really needed and I do think that it’s happening. VM: How do you think the political realm affects the LGBT community? MAL: It certainly is very strong in that [the politicians] are the ones who are going to ultimately help make the decisions about gay marriage. But very few politicians have been coming out strong for it. I heard on NPR [National Public Radio] that this is the first time that voting for equal rights is being done by the people. That didn’t happen with rights for blacks or women, because the popular vote will always lose. So we count on our government to take care of the minority, to help them move forward and secure equal rights. Why is it going to the popular vote on this issue? If that would have happened in the 60s, do you think that blacks and whites would have ever been able to marry? I think that a lot of politicians are being wimpy. I assume that they’re playing the game and taking care of their jobs, as opposed to upholding the laws and helping people move forward in consciousness. But I have complete faith that ultimately, all gay people will have the right to marry. VM: What can people expect from Liberation 2010? MAL: People can expect to really open up, fall in love with themselves and meet other people that are on the same path. We’ve got phenomenal keynote speakers: August Gold from New York, Byron Katie, Gay Hendricks, and Malidoma Somé, an African shaman who is in America now. He wrote a dissertation about how in his tribe, gay people were revered. They were considered the twin spirits and the gatekeepers to the spiritual world. We have amazing musicians—all gay artists who are spiritual singers. We’re going to have a big dance Thursday night, a concert Friday night, workshops all day Saturday, and an awesome gala with a phenomenal gay entertainer. So it’s going to be like a big love fest. I want to invite all people to come to this conference. I have no doubt that it’s going to be phenomenal. For more information on Liberation 2010 at the JW Marriott in Los Angeles April 8-11, 2010, visit liberation2010.com or e-mail email@example.com.
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tear stricken young woman with bruises on her face and a baby in her arms arrives at a gate in Pune, India. She is seeking refuge from her abusive husband whom she believes is going to kill her. Her story is one of thousands in India, where domestic by Elyssa P violence, alcoholism, the dowry system and the caste system incident really shook my life. I got out of my comfort zone and set out to do are some of the conditions that something. lead to patriarchal injustice and VM: What are some ways that Maher brings a new life for the oppressed women the widespread oppression of of India? women. Uneducated and destitute, SLK: The first and foremost thing that we do is teach them that they are someone these women often end up facing and they don’t need anybody starvation in the streets with suicide as else to support them—they the only escape. can support themselves. After That was until Maher. they receive counseling to get An interfaith community that welcomes everyone regardless of religion or caste, out of the initial trauma, we Maher began in 1997 as a home for abused women and children with nowhere to train them in a skill if it is go. Meaning “mother’s home” in the local language of Marathi, Maher came to be possible. Many of our women [later become] employed by Maher. There are 65 through the extraordinary vision and perseverance of Sister Lucy Kurien. to 70 women who are helping us with our various projects. We have 570 children Today Maher has grown beyond a shelter for traumatized women to an active at the moment and these women who have been with us now take care of them. I force that is changing the conditions that led to find that they are more understanding, loving, its creation in the first place. Maher now has 22 and caring than other women who come to our projects in the villages surrounding Pune, some house. of which include awareness programs, vocational VM: Do you have a heartwarming story that training, literacy classes, daycare centers, and you’d like to share about Maher? services to provide food, water and shelter to SLK: Over 1500 women have been through those in need. Maher. All of them come with one story or A project of the Satyana Institute, a nonanother. I will share one with you. profit service and training organization, Maher Recently, a woman came to us. Her name is is a ray of light that shines through the 1500 Sunita. She had two children. One of our staff women and the 570 children who have found [members] saw her standing near our gate at six a safe haven within its doors. It is drawing the in the morning. It was pouring rain. She asked, world’s attention to how women are treated in “Why are you standing out in the pouring rain? Indian society with the goal of creating unity Come into the house.” And when she came in, and equality for all. she said, “I was afraid to come inside because I Sister Lucy Kurien is an inspiration whose didn’t know if you would accept me.” The staff work has changed thousands of lives. It was [member] asked her, “How did you know about an honor to speak with her recently about her this place?” She answered, “I was going to kill Sister Lucy receiving traditional Aarti blessing from a Maher child work with Maher in uplifting the people in her myself and my two children.” community and raising awareness about domestic violence across the world. She was 16 years old and an orphan brought up in an institution. Some people who knew her helped her into marriage but unfortunately, her husband died of Vision Magazine: What was your inspiration for starting Maher? blood cancer. She had nowhere to go, the baby was so small, and the other child Sister Lucy Kurien: In 1991, a woman came to me and said, “My life is in was about three and a half or four years old. She had no money because she had no danger; I need shelter.” At that time, I did not have anything to offer her, but I education. She was trying to find a husband but no one would marry her because told her to come back and I would see how we could help her out. Unfortunately she had this baby and no money. She did not know what to do. that very night, she had an argument with her husband and he set her on fire. It Finally, she decided that she would take her two children and jump in the river. happened in front of our house at HOPE, [a social work center]. She recognized At that moment, a drunkard who was passing by asked her, “What are you trying me and was yelling, “Save me, save me!” That was when I realized it was the same to do here? Why are you standing here at this time of night?” When she explained woman who had come for help in the morning. We put out the fire and admitted the story to him, he told her about Maher. After he brought her, she told us how her to the hospital, but by then, it was too late. She was already 90 percent burned. she had planned to kill herself and her two children. We took her [in], trained her, At that time, she was also seven months pregnant. At the hospital, we asked if and now she is one of the housemothers. She looks after her two children, plus anything could be done to save the child, but what we had in our hands was a another 10 children. Now she looks so different—so happy and relaxed. totally burned baby. That was when I realized that I had to do something. VM: What do you attribute Maher’s success to? Before this happened, I used to see women on the streets and I thought, What SLK: One of the things that I feel is [behind] Maher’s success is that it is an can I do? Where can I find money to help these women? I had no answer. But this interfaith [community]. Maher does not prefer any one particular religion over the
A Conversation with
“Why are you standing o Come into th
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other. We come together to pray, but not to any one particular god or deity. We respect God and we teach the women and children to meditate. VM: How has the public responded to Maher’s repudiation of religious distinction, as well as caste distinction? SLK: My name sounds Christian, so in the beginning when I went to the village, the fundamental Hindus thought that I’d come there for conversion. And there was opposition [from the Christians] because I was not going to the Sunday masses. So I had difficulty from both sides. But now the people and the village have accepted me so well; I have no problems. VM: What are some of the other challenges that Maher has had to face? SLK: Challenges have been many. Overcoming the difficulties of gaining the understanding of the people was the biggest challenge. Also, raising funds was a challenge that we had to face all of the time because we were not getting much money from the Indian government. But many people of good will come forward to help us out financially. VM: How has Maher’s focus moved from being a refuge for battered women to a driving force for education? SLK: We starting thinking, Why are so many women coming to Maher? And what can we do? One thing is to create awareness in the villages. Now we’ve got almost 270 Self Help Groups. Every group has about 20 women who come together for a meeting every month to give some money—whatever amount they can pay. The group decides if it is 50 rupees or 100 hundred rupees, depending on the strength of the group. For some groups, maybe it is just 20 rupees. So they come every month and put the money together. Whoever needs it most that month uses the money [and the nominal interest proceeds go back into the community pool]. If the money becomes a big amount, the group can decide to start an incomegenerating program to benefit all. We also have 17 Balwadis, that is, kindergartens, in the villages. Each Balwadi has 15 to 25 children. Once the Balwadis are successful, we hand them over to the government—and this allows us to start new ones elsewhere. The answer to all of the problems in India is education. Education is not only book knowledge. In Maher, we have a street theater group. In the villages, most of the women don’t know how to read. Through the street theater, they create different types of awareness programs about health and hygiene, the importance of education, superstitious beliefs, and many others. VM: Maher has answered the call in so many ways, from healing and education to providing a well in a community where there was a need for fresh water. What are some other ways that Maher has improved conditions in the villages?
ng out in the pouring rain? to the house.”
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f e a t u r e SLK: The latest project we have started is a blood testing camp in the slums. We noticed that many of the children were malnourished, so we began giving them one nutritious meal a day. We created a small kitchen where we cook a hot meal. There are about 50 children in one place. In another, we have about 40 children, so in total, there are about 90 to 100 children that we feed every day. In Maher, we also have a home for mentally disturbed women who fall to the wayside. Over 200 women have been there and at present, we have 65 patients with us. Because of domestic Maher’s emblem signifies violence, these women go completely crazy the unity in all religions and end up in the streets. We also have a home for aged people who have nothing and are in the streets with no one to take care of them. At the moment, we have over 30 women there. VM: In terms of the larger picture, do you believe that the attitude of men toward women will change in Indian society and across the world? SLK: Among the educated men in the cities, there has been some change. But in the slums, it’s going to take a long time. Even today I was reading the paper and I found that with men and women—everywhere, not only in India—there is no equality. Maybe it is not as severe in other countries as it is in India, where there is oppression and the lives of the women are very difficult. The men have money in India, but the women have no money and they are not educated. Moreover, when they register their cases in the police stations, the men bribe the police and the women’s voices are not heard. It will take a long time because our women must first learn their rights. In India, when we are children, we are naturally dependent on our fathers. When we are married, we are dependent on our husbands. And when we are old, we are dependent on our children. None of our women have a bank account—they don’t even know what a bank account is. They don’t know how to write their names. [In Maher] we teach these things and then the women really see that they can support themselves. I see them changing their lives. VM: What is your dream for Maher and for the world? SLK: There are many demands on Maher to start homes for women and children in various parts of the country. My dream is that Maher’s children will run Maher. And I hope that there will be no need for a home like Maher one day. I always think of a very peaceful India and a very peaceful world. For more information about Maher, please visit maherashram.org. Learn more about the Satyana Institute at satyana.org. Donate to Maher through indiancharity. org or give2asia.org. Read the amazing stories from Maher in Women Healing Women: A Model of Hope for Oppressed Women Everywhere, by William Keepin and Cynthia Brix, available at women-healing-women.net. A portion of the proceeds support Maher.
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F E B R UA RY 20 10
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F E B R UA RY 20 10
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F E B R UA RY 20 10
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Is It Anger Or Is It Abuse ? by Joyce and Barry Vissell
eonard was yelling at his wife, “Damn it, Mary, when are you going to give me any respect? I work all day long and come home to a messy house—and dinner isn’t even started. What do you do all day?!” Mary was clearly intimidated. She was sitting wordlessly on the couch while Leonard stood threateningly above her, clenching his fists as if he would hit her. She was hugging herself in a desperate attempt at selfprotection, while the tears gave away her fear and pain. No question here. This is obviously abusive and unhealthy anger. How about this next example: Tammie was saying in a loud voice, “I’m so pissed off at you, Phil. You did it again. You said you’d be home at six, and it’s now seven. You don’t care about me at all.” “I’m really sorry, Tammie. The traffic was bad and I wanted…” “I’m not done Phil. It’s only been one week since the last time you were late. I don’t trust your word anymore. You say you’re going to do something, and then you don’t. Don’t I matter to you?” Photo by Paul Mata “Of course you matter, I tried to call but only got your voicemail.” “Always with the excuses. I’m tired of your excuses. You don’t mean anything you say. I’m done with this marriage!” Is Tammie’s anger healthy or unhealthy? While it is definitely healthier than Leonard’s, it is still not healthy. Lana and Cade went through the same scenario and here’s how they dealt with it: “Cade, I feel hurt and angry. You said you’d be home at six, and it’s now seven. I felt scared that something might have happened to you.” “I’m really sorry Lana. The traffic was bad, but that’s no excuse. I should’ve called you.” “I’m just feeling disrespected, hurt and angry.” Lana is being healthy with her anger. Why? Because she has made no blanket accusations like Tammie’s, “You don’t care about me at all. I don’t trust your word anymore. You don’t mean anything you say.” She allowed Cade to speak without cutting him off. She didn’t make threats like Tammie’s, “I’m done with this marriage!” Instead, she kept to “I” statements, letting Cade know how she felt, rather than making him feel wrong or shaming him. Expressing anger is rarely enjoyable to your partner, but it can still be healthy and safe. I remember going through a phase early in my relationship with Joyce when I felt that expressing anger was definitely not healthy or safe. Joyce would express her anger and I would repress mine, and even put her down for getting angry. Because that didn’t work for her, her anger would then escalate to the next level. This would feel intolerable to me and I would leave, regardless of where we were. Definitely not healthy on my part. One day, we were outside the house, and Joyce was expressing anger at me. I couldn’t hold it in any longer. I yelled at her in anger. First there was a look of shock on her face, then gradually a smile appeared and she reached out and hugged me. She was actually thanking me for my anger. I have stopped holding in my anger. Sometimes I go to the other extreme and let it out too loudly. At those times, I imagine that Joyce wishes I would go back to the way I was. But she assures me that she’d rather have me yell too loudly than not at all. Ideally, most anger can be headed off by addressing the feelings underneath, which are usually based in hurt or fear. When these deeper feelings are expressed and acknowledged, there often is no need for anger. V I S I O N M AG A Z I N E
F E B R UA RY 20 10
For example, it is unavoidable for Joyce and me to sometimes say or do something that triggers hurt feelings in the other. Usually this is completely unintentional. Our goal is to say something like, “I know you didn’t mean to hurt me by your action, but it did hurt me.” I have to admit, Joyce is better at it than I am. When she makes that statement, it helps me in two ways. Firstly, it acknowledges that I didn’t mean to hurt her. This is very important to me, often preventing me from going to the old tape of “I’m a bad boy,” or “I can’t ever do it right.” Secondly, it allows me room to hear her feelings and immediately apologize, which can bring us back to love very quickly. When the hurt or fear is not felt and expressed, anger is the next level. Here are some guidelines for the healthy expression of anger: “I” statements are rarely abusive. Try saying, “I am angry,” rather than “You did this,” or “Why did you do that?” Healthy anger is not intimidating or controlling. Even “I” statements can be abusive if you are scaring the person you are addressing. If you are physically or emotionally dominating this person, you are being abusive. This includes not letting him or her speak, and of course, touching him or her in inappropriate or aggressive ways. Healthy anger stays in the present, rather than bringing up unrelated things from the past to fortify your argument: “You came home an hour late without calling, yesterday you forgot to take out the garbage, and the day before, you left your dirty dishes on the table.” Not healthy. Healthy anger does not generalize: “You’re always breaking your commitments,” nor does it make threats of any kind: “Break one more commitment and I’m out of here!”
Lastly, name calling or swearing is unhealthy. Period. After the anger is expressed in a healthy way, it’s time for both of you to address the hurt or fear underneath the anger. Take responsibility for your deeper feelings and apologize for hurting the other. Cade’s apology to Lana allowed her to quickly let go of her anger. Lana acknowledging her hurt and fear made it easier for Cade to apologize. Address the hurt or fear beneath the anger and there will usually be no need to express anger at all. Prevention is always more effective. But if the hurt or fear remains elusive, you have a conscious choice to express your anger in a healthy way. Follow the above guidelines and you can have an abuse-free interchange. When Joyce and I are angry with each other, we stay connected and work it through to the very end. We know we are done when we can sincerely hug and kiss one another and even laugh at our behavior. Because of this, the flame of our love and commitment to one another has been allowed to burn brightly. Joyce and Barry Vissell, a nurse and medical doctor couple since 1964 whose medicine is now love, are the authors of The Shared Heart, Models of Love, Risk To Be Healed, The Heart’s Wisdom and Meant To Be. Call 800.766.0629 or write to the Shared Heart Foundation, P.O. Box 2140, Aptos, CA 95001 for a free newsletter or more information on counseling sessions, recordings or schedule of talks and workshops. Visit sharedheart.org for their free monthly e-heartletter, updated schedule, and inspiring past articles on many topics about relationship and living from the heart.
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F E B R UA RY 20 10
v i s i o n
c a f e
Off the Beaten Path
Embracing Change with Body Mind Spirit Expos
ometimes you are simply ready for a change. Now in its 23rd year, the Body Mind Spirit Expo is the largest health and wellness expo in the United States. A quick glance through the program reveals myriad opportunities for transformation: New Thoughts for a New You, Step into Your True Self, Find Your Voice, and Change Your Story—Change Your Life. The vendors there will also offer many insights on how to incorporate positive change into your life. Body Mind Spirit Expo events explore the dynamics of growth, change and development. This year, the theme of change returns to the creation of the event itself, for the Expo has outgrown its previous location. This spring, the show will relocate to the beautiful and larger Mission Valley Sheraton Hotel’s Grand Ballroom, located at 1433 Camino del Rio South in San Diego, CA. With chandeliers, carpet and marble, the facility reflects the deluxe, first class setting that the presentations and exhibitors have always deserved. Proving that magic really happens, this change comes to you at no increase in cost. Weekend admission remains at just $12, parking is still free, and the convenience of a popular Mission Valley location is maintained just a block from our previous venue. So join us February 21-22! The show opens at 10 a.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. Sunday. With presentations covering all aspects of holistic thought, natural health and personal growth, prepare to be inspired to incorporate change into your life!
For more information about Body Mind Spirit Expos, call 541.482.3722 or visit bmse.net for a $2 off coupon.
new international exhibition of contemporary art brings together artists from around the world to explore the many dimensions of gender-based violence. In “Off the Beaten Path: Violence, Women, and Art,” running at the Tijuana Cultural Center in the El Cubo museum through April 4, 33 well-respected artists from 26 countries create new stories through their artwork, addressing gender-based violence from a global perspective. “Throughout the world, women and girls “Untitled” by Yoko Inoue, Japan are victims of countless and senseless acts of violence,” says Randy Jayne Rosenberg, Executive Director of the nonprofit group Art Works for Change and the show’s curator. “The range of gender-based violence is devastating, occurring, quite literally, from womb to tomb. It occurs in every segment of society, regardless of class, ethnicity, culture, or whether the country is at peace or war.” The idea for the show was born after Houston artist Susan Plum created an installation project, Luz y Solidaridad (“Light and Solidarity”) in 2005 for Art Works For Change to address the plight of the women of Juárez, Mexico. More than 800 murdered bodies of abducted young women have been found in Juárez and Chihuahua since 1993 and more than 3,000 women are still missing. The goal of the exhibition is to help create a new conversation on the full spectrum of issues that surround this important topic. The hope is that the audience leaves with a better understanding of the roots of abuse, a feeling of empathy, and an awareness of their actions and beliefs. To promote social change, Art Works For Change serves as a catalyst within the community. Organizational partners for “Off the Beaten Path” include Amnesty International, Art for Amnesty, Global Fund for Women, International Rescue Committee, the UN Development Fund for Women, and The Voices and Faces Project.
For more information, visit ArtWorksForChange.org or learn more about the Tijuana Cultural Center at cecut.gob.mx.
V I S I O N M AG A Z I N E
F E B R UA RY 20 10
h o l i s t i c
p r o d u c t s
t took more than 20 years for Tori Hartman to piece together the clues of spirit visitations following her near-death experience. More than 45 spirits shared the stories that would become the Color Wisdom Cards, beautifully illustrated by Gretchen Raisch-Baskin. The fables and their lessons came together to become the first oracle deck of its kind to encompass the gay experience, among others, as part of a full worldview. “There are divination decks and astrology books that are specific to the gay experience,” Hartman points out. “The Color Wisdom Cards are the first Oracle Deck to incorporate the gay experience as a natural part of life. “The truth is that I love this deck. I’ve loved it since the first spirit visited me almost 20 years ago…My choice was simple when I realized I had to be true to my mission. I want to share them with you and that’s more important than anything else. This work is my calling. I love to support others in realizing the life they were meant to live...I believe that every time someone fulfills a dream, humanity shares in it. The energy around the entire project is complete love and pure heart–you will feel it as you begin to work with it. While developing the fables, Hartman drew from her experiences of spirit visitation and her own world view to create a book and card set that would be accessible to everyone. One card depicts Ivory Tower, which was written in 1956 to illustrate the gay perspective of that era, highlighting the value and wisdom of those who lived outside mainstream society. The fable of Grass uses whimsical characters to depict the very powerful concept of standing up for who you are. These original fables carry the depth of an Aesop Fable or a Grimm’s Fairy Tale, yet in some ways carry the lightheartedness of Dr. Seuss. From the variety of voice in each fable to building a support community, the Color Wisdom Cards offer everyone interested in personal connection to self, others and spirit a new road of hope, enlightenment and inspiration.
Color Wisdom Cards
Tori Hartman put the entire deck online for free at ColorWisdomCards.com to allow everyone to experience it.
et’s talk about sex. Lovemaking. Doin’ it. You can probably think of a few more ways to describe it, but I’ll stop here. Some lovers opt for a personal lubricant to enhance pleasure. Sounds fine—until you realize what’s typically lurking in the leading brands on the market. KY Jelly, for example, is petroleum-based and contains propylene glycol (an industrial chemical used as antifreeze), benzoic acid (used industrially and as a food preservative), hydroxyethylcellulose (used in cleaning and household products) and polysorbate 60 (food additive and emulsifier used in the pharmaceutical industry). AstroGlide is not much better, as it is synthetically based and loaded with industrial chemicals such as propylene glycol, methylparaben (a chemical antifungal agent and preservative), and polyquaternium 15 (a potentially irritating synthetic preservative). Not so sexy, is it? On the flipside is Aloe Cadabra, a pure, organic, plant-based lubricant that contains more than 95 percent certified organic aloe vera, vanilla and essential oils, food-grade stabilizers, citric acid, and xanthan gum (a polysaccharide food additive). Aloe is a moisturizing plant that has healing properties to promote cellular health and soothe skin as an anti-inflammatory. What’s more, Aloe Cadabra’s formula is pH balanced to the vaginal pH range of 3.8 to 5.0. Unlike chemical lubricants that alter the vagina’s natural pH and destroy the beneficial bacteria that are vital to vaginal health, Aloe Cadabra is balanced with the vagina’s natural environment. Perhaps most importantly, Aloe Cadabra enhances sex by moisturizing the skin and benefiting, rather than polluting the body with industrial toxins. It’s even edible and comes in the enticing flavors of French Lavender, Tahitian Vanilla, and Natural. Plus it’s safe to use with condoms or toys. Did I mention that there is no animal testing on this product? Aloe Cadabra is a magical lubricant that safely enhances your intimate experience. Bring it into your bedroom tonight.
For more information about Aloe Cadabra, 2.5 oz, $7.95, visit aloecadabra.com or call 866.961.2563. – EP
V I S I O N M AG A Z I N E
F E B R UA RY 20 10
r e v i e w s
The Sexual Herbal
ould you like to boost your sex life? Try ginseng. This magical root increases fertility, supports the reproductive system, and boosts stamina. It has even been used to treat menopause, low libido, erectile dysfunction, and low sperm count. This is just one of the valuable suggestions in The Sexual Herbal: Prescriptions for Enhancing Love and Passion, by Brigitte Mars. This informative guidebook offers a complete approach to sex and love through herbal, homeopathic, and other holistic therapies that can help attract a healthy relationship, treat sexual dysfunctions, and enhance sexuality, to name a few. Throughout history, people have used herbs not only to heal and nourish the body and spirit, but to increase sexual vitality and promote reproductive health. Did you know that oatstraw helps women experience multiple orgasms? Or that raspberry leaf can help treat dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation), infertility and morning sickness? One of my favorite parts of The Sexual Herbal is that it contains delicious love potions. From recipes for aphrodisiac formulas and massage oil to a sexual vitality tonic and an herbal salve for those overworked body parts, this book has just what you need to take your intimacy to the next level. And don’t forget to do your “sexercises!” The Sexual Herbal tells you how to actively boost your sexual vitality through Kegel pelvic exercises, hip circles, dancing, and Taoist and tantric techniques, among many others. This book touches on it all, providing ways to enhance your sexual experience with aromatherapy, massage, reflexology and acupressure. It’s also loaded with nutritional advice, positive affirmations and flirting tips to attract a mate, and essential principles to keep your love alive once you’ve found the right partner. And just in case you were wondering, it even reveals just where the G-spot is—for men and women. This book is a must-have! For more information on The Sexual Herbal: Prescriptions for Enhancing Love and Passion, $24.95, Healing Arts Press, an imprint of Inner Traditions Bear & Company, visit healingartspress.com. – EP
Journey to Sexual Wholeness
exual wholeness is something that we all want in our intimate relationships. Unfortunately, depression, anxiety, or trauma can affect our sexual experiences, causing a major burden upon our psyches. These circumstances can inhibit sexual pleasure and the deeper connection that comes with it—elements which most would agree are an integral part of a truly healthy relationship. Now, through the fusion of sexuality and spirituality, you can be on your way to sexual wholeness and wellbeing. Kypris Aster Drake brings us Journey to Sexual Wholeness: The Six Gateways to Sacred Sexuality. As a spiritual coach, healer, teacher, and avid practitioner of tantra, Drake’s sensual words send you on a positive journey to discover your innermost sexual desire. It is through this transformative process that you will be able to heal spiritual and emotional wounds that may be affecting your intimacy levels. Drake has found a way to utilize her own enlightenment that she has experienced through the body to help others. Journey to Sexual Wholeness touches on so many concepts and activities, from chakra meditation through an idea she calls “waking the dragon,” to circular breathing methods which can enable you to connect with your sexual self. Whichever way you choose to enlighten your body and spirit, this guide shows you the way. Get ready to be sexually awakened!
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“A Real Man Redefined” continued from page 7
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This is not the man, or woman, Emerson spoke of. At the age of 28, I finally made the connection between my food and its source. Once discovering that not only could I survive, but thrive without the suffering and death of another living being, I was sold. I became vegan. My friends, on the other hand, commenced with the tossing of good-natured barbs in the form of, you guessed it, shots at my manhood. In the face of all the jokes and heated verbal attacks, I persevered (cue orchestral music in any major key). I had jumped out of the slaughterhouse line and headed full-steam for the electric fence, (music crescendos) which crumbled at the mere sight of my crushing manliness! So come on, men (cue some sort of uproarious crowd sound effect to be played over the orchestral music). Let’s be Emerson’s men! Let’s be real men! Let’s make some vegan quiche! Brian L. Patton is Executive Chef of Vegin’ Out, Southern California’s Premier Vegan Home Delivery Service: VeginOut.com. He is also the creator of “The Sexy Vegan,” a demonstrational cooking show with an adult twist: TheSexyVegan.com. “Carbon Recycling” continued from page 19
development, both as a direct fuel and as a fuel storage material for on-demand release of hydrogen. The ERC technology could provide a net revenue of up to $700 per ton of CO2 recycled, with a return on investment previously forecast at 20 percent per year, depending on local costs. Compared with CCS, the ERC provides a positive return on investment, not an unrecoverable cost. Plus a demonstration ERC unit could be installed at a client’s premises within a year and a commercial plant within two years, much faster than for CCS. In a speech to the U.S. Senate, Margie Tatro, Director of Fuel and Water Systems at Sandia National Laboratories, a U.S. Department of Energy-run research center formed to develop science-based technologies that support national security, advocated that carbon recycling is the way of the future. “We must act now to stimulate this area of research and development. Other countries are exploring reuse and recycling of CO2 and it would be unfortunate if the United States became dependent on imported technology in this critical area,” said Tatro. Carbon recycling options being developed globally vary considerably. The range includes the biochemical conversion of CO2 into algal biofuel, the thermochemical conversion into methanol, and the biocatalytic or solar photocatalytic conversion of CO2 to fuels. Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages and some are more believable than others. At this stage, what sets Mantra and a handful of others apart is that it has a publicly disclosed patent application, backed up by several technical articles in reputable journals and has already established market interest for their products. As fear of climate change grips the globe, businesses and governments are desperate to find an answer to our CO2 problem. Relying solely on CCS is an incredibly risky and in many places unworkably expensive solution. More imaginative thinking shows us that the 27 billion metric tons of CO2 per year may actually represent a business opportunity. A budding industry, carbon recycling for profit offers an exciting and viable alternative to carbon capture and storage programs. Without a doubt, as a portfolio of solutions will have to be developed to address climate change, carbon recycling is destined to be at the forefront. Rowan Oloman is a freelance writer living in Vancouver, Canada. She holds a Masters degree in Environmental Management from the University of New South Wales and a BA in Environmental Geography from the University of Sydney. Oloman works as the director of several international conservation projects and as a researcher for green tech solutions.
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“Powerful Prowess” continued from page 20
with the “winning team” in order to vicariously succeed. From “fair-weather” sports fans, to wives who identify with their husbands’ success, fulfillment of the need for recognition provides a cogent recompense for a primal trade. And in the politics of sexuality, power exudes the most potent aphrodisiac. Sustainability The seduction of stamina reveals itself in both the long-distance runner as well as the laboring lothario. Setting up the chase, the female extracts from man his eager efforts to prove his mettle as a partner and lover. Happily, the dance continues until satisfaction or exhaustion sets in! In setting up a situation for a man to demonstrate his prowess and endurance, the female plays the sexual politics game to give the man the opportunity to show his colors. In life, underlying carnal challenges disguised as socially acceptable scenarios fill our everyday lives. The rise to the top of corporate management puts forth the requirement of persistence, for example. While it may not appear on the surface as a sexual interaction, the ramming horns of competition can be heard from the boardroom to the mailroom. Release When all political and sexual maneuvering is done, the sweaty resolve rewards us. Thankful for a frenzied finale, the need for satisfaction dissipates for the short term. But what positions us for the next politically expedient opportunity for life’s basic instinct? When we finally release and let go of all the machinations we believe necessary to reach the pinnacle of life, we realize that any manifestation of satiation is temporary. Our nature as sexual beings arouses within us the desire to conquer ever newer and higher mountains. The role we play as we walk through this world either restricts or frees us to understand the waves of happiness emanating from within our own power, the breadth of our willingness to embrace life and the passion to keep moving forward toward our dreams. Taking a quiet sideways glance at life, Marlene Buffa offers insight through her words and experiences. A student of new-thought teachings, Marlene finds practical spirituality around every corner and seeks wisdom through observation of life’s interrelationships. Visit her at wordsofmind.com.
“What’s Your Spin on Sex?” continued from page 21
that don’t feel good; we feed our creativity and take time out for friends and exercise; we take care of our own needs and take responsibility for our behavior; and we are open to receiving and allowing others to love and support us. As a result, we can connect with ourselves and our partners at the deepest, most intimate level. We don’t try to hide things we might feel ashamed of and we don’t play games. We share, explore and discover ourselves with our partner, going ever deeper into love, intimacy and fulfillment. This is the kind of long-term policy that brings increasing rewards and consistently favorable ratings. Putting ourselves first—in practical, healthy ways—and taking care of our own needs so that we can freely, lovingly choose our partner, rather than needing him or her (which always backfires), is the most powerful pathway to passion—not to mention long-term domestic bliss. It also fosters happy families, reduces healthcare costs, promotes longevity, enhances self-esteem, boosts morale, builds integrity, inspires innovation and creativity, cultivates respect and commitment, and makes us feel good about ourselves. It’s not just a radical recipe for relationships; it’s a winning formula for leaders everywhere—in love, in life and in politics. Olga Sheean is a personal empowerment and relationship coach who specializes in addressing the subconscious programming that runs our lives. She is also the author of Fit for Love—Find Your Self and Your Perfect Mate; Gut Feelings—The Inside Story, and DiscoverYou—An e-course in Self-mastery. See olgasheean.com for more details. V I S I O N M AG A Z I N E
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Like 2,000 years ago CHECK IT OUT! ‘star’ appears atural Healing Institute Healing this&time to herald ofessional License Certificate Programs Events mprehensive Training • Highestemergence Caliber Instructors imminent and assage Therapist • Nutrition • Herbology of the• Aromatherapy istic Health Practitioner • Spa Therapist • Sports Therapist Classes Instructor • Thai Massage • Lomi HealingChrist • Shiatsu • Somatics Planetary
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FEBRUARY San Diego ‘star’ sighting 9-5-09 9 pm Learn about Maitreya Introductory Presentation 3 pm 1st Sunday of month Controversial Bookstore 3063 University Ave - SD SD cable public access channel Wed 9:30 pm Cox Sat 5:30 pm Time Warner Visit our booth at local street fairs Serve through Transmission Meditation 9:30 am Sun, 7 pm Tue and 8 pm Fri in San Diego meditation.meetup.com/430 (619) 223-6703 For LA/SF info about events & Transmission Meditation groups: LA: (818) 785-6300 SF: www.sharingforpeace.org www.share-international.org
MASTER GU WILL CONDUCT MANY EVENTS WITH A SPECIAL GUEST, SINGER AND TEACHER LUCINDA DRAYTON FROM ENGLAND: a healing event at Conscious Life Expo in LA, Feb. 13; a weekend workshop at UCLA, Feb. 27-28 and at UCSD March 13-14. For Lucinda’s tour in USA, visit www.facebook. com/LucindaDrayton. For more information on Master Gu’s schedule, visit www.chicenter.com or call 800.959.2892. 02/10 IMAGE QUEST™: DISCOVER YOUR AUTHENTIC VISUAL VOCABULARY 12 weeks Wednesday Evenings 7:00pm - 9:30pm February 17 - May 12 (skip April 14) $360. Pamela Underwood, BFA, MA. Registration at: www.pamelaunderwood.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, 619.857.8820 02/10 ARTIST’S WAY GROUP 12 Weeks Tuesday MORNINGS 9:00am – 11:30am February 16 – May 11 (skip April 13) $360. Pamela Underwood, BFA, MA. Registration at: 619.857.8820, email@example.com www.pamelaunderwood.com 02/10 V I S I O N M AG A Z I N E
FEBRUARY 2 TUESDAY FREE 2 HOUR WORKSHOP! Your Body’s Secret Language Revealed! How to understand your body’s Emotional, Mental, And Spiritual Messages! Learn how to decode your body’s Vibrational Language and how to harness your EMOTIONS. What pain is really about (surprise!) Learn your body’s spiritual language…it’s not what you think! 7pm-9pm Carlsbad. Call Now! 760.692.0252. Space is Limited To 20 people. www. myinnerwisdom.com. 02/10 FEBRUARY 4 THURSDAY PRE-VALENTINE’S SPECIAL: SINGLES & COUPLES MASSAGE, HEALING WITH REAL CHOCOLATE - CHOCOLATE LOVER’S HEALING THERAPIES & POTIONS™. 6:30 p.m. Also February 11. Natural Healing Institute, 760.943.8485, www. naturalhealinginst.com. 02/10 FEBRUARY 5 FRIDAY ART SHOW OPENING “UP FROM THE ASHES” BY SCULPTOR JEAN CORNWELL A body of work created since her devastating loss in the Witch Creek Fire. Reception - 6 to 9pm. Women’s History Museum. Golden Hill 619.233.7963 or info@whmec. org 02/10 FEBRUARY 6 SATURDAY JAYA! Kirtan house concert and personal Angel messages by Rev. Uki in Carlsbad. Come chant with us! Starts with potluck at 5pm. For details and reservations: 800.883.2840 or www.ukimacisaac.com 02/10
F E B R UA RY 20 10
Free Intro Classes Mon. Feb 15, 7 - 8:30pm, Carlsbad Qigong Studio Tue. Feb 16, noon - 1pm, Oceanside @ Mira Costa College Wed. Feb 17, 7 - 8:30pm, Carlsbad Qigong Studio Thur. Feb 18, 5:30 - 7pm, Normal Heights @ UM Church Sat. & Sun. Feb 20 & 21, TBA San Diego Chinese New Year Faire
Lower Blood Pressure with Qigong Tue. Feb 9, 5:30 - 6:30pm Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine $15, Registration 1.800.Scripps
La Jolla • Rancho Bernardo Carlsbad • Solana Beach • Normal Heights
Fay McGrew, MA, QTP(Medical Qigong), Cert. Teacher 15 years teaching in San Diego
FEBRUARY 10 WEDNESDAY FREE PAST LIFE READINGS by the Clairvoyant students of Golden Rose Psychic Services in Hillcrest. 6:30pm-8:00pm. Visit www.GoldenRosePsychic.com or 619.922.6775 02/10 FEBRUARY 12 FRIDAY CELESTIAL MUSIC & MESSAGES FROM SPIRIT CIRCLE Join renowned medium and inspired musician Elivia Melodey for an evening of Messages from the Spirit Realm. Cost: $35 each. Circle limited to 15 so call now 619.441.0413. Home and Soul, 229 E Main Street, El Cajon 02/10 FEBRUARY 13 SATURDAY INTUITIVE LIVING Transcendental Rebirthing™ Special Event: 10am – 7pm. Rebirth alignment with Higher Self! In San Diego, w/ Swami Deviananda 858.405.5088 / www.sacredrebirthing.com 02/10
FEBRUARY 13 SATURDAY HEART 2 HEART LOVE EVENT 11-5 at The Imagine Center. Featuring 10-minute Soul Mate Readings, 10-minute Couples Readings and 10-minute TwinFlame Readings. Special guest – Harp Therapist Aedan MacDonnel with Harp Readings by Aedan. It’s all About Love. Discounts on selected books, crystals, jewelry cards and more. We are located at 18635 Ventura Boulevard, Tarzana, CA 91356, between Reseda and Yolanda. Free parking in the rear. Call 818.345.1100 or visit our online store at www. theimaginecenter.com. 02/10 HEALING WITH CRYSTALS INTENSIVE Discover crystal properties and how to use them for healing and support. Facilitated by master vibrational healer Elivia Melodey. Dress comfortably. 1-5 PM in San Marcos. Cost: $45 in advance, $65 day of. Reservations call: 760.471.7304. www.Elivia. com 02/10 ♥ FEBRUARY 14 SUNDAY LOVE CONNECTION MESSAGE CIRCLE Call now to reserve your place to connect with your Spirit Guides for Love, led by Medium, Elivia Melodey. Messages from the other side to help brighten up your Beacon of Love. 7PM in San Marcos. Cost $25. Couples-$20 each. Reservations call 760. 471.7304. www.Elivia.com 02/10
FEBRUARY 14 SUNDAY SPECIAL VALENTINE’S DAY PROGRAM - COME JOIN US AT THE LA COSTA RESORT AND SPA FOR THE SEVEN SPIRITUAL LAWS OF SUCCESS TRANSFORMATION CIRCLES Also March 14. For details and registration visit mytransformationcircles.com 02/10 FEBRUARY 15 MONDAY THE ARTIST’S WAY WORKSHOP Increase confidence, productivity. Overcome fears, procrastination, self-criticism, perfectionism, other blocks. Based on book by Julia Cameron. 11 Mondays, 7-10pm. CALL 310.839.3424. www. creativelife. com 02/10 FEBRUARY 22 MONDAY CLINICAL AROMATHERAPY – STATE, NATIONAL CERTIFICATIONS! In-depth. Practical. Experiential. World Renowned. First in U.S. 6:30 p.m. Natural Healing Institute, 760.943.8485, www.naturalhealinginst.com. 02/10 FEBRUARY 23 TUESDAY JOIN US FOR A LIVELY DISCUSSION ON FORGIVENESS. Radical Forgiveness, Free Intro. OB Peoples Coop Community Room. 7-9pm 619.563.8971 sdmacrobiotics. com 02/10 ANTIOXIDANTS - GENERATE LONGEVITY, VITALITY! Foods, Supplements, Herbs, Spices. Natural Healing Institute, www. naturalhealinginst.com, 760.943. 8485 02/10
FEBRUARY 27 SATURDAY COMPREHENSIVE 6-WEEK COURSES ON REIKI AND ENERGY HEALING CA Board of Registered Nurses approves this course for 30 CE contact hours CEP 15226 www.sacredtransformation. net 619.204.0504 02/10
FREE 2 HOUR WORKSHOP! Your Body’s Secret Language Revealed! How to understand your body’s Emotional, Mental, And Spiritual Messages! Learn how to decode your body’s Vibrational Language and how to harness your EMOTIONS. What pain is really about (surprise!) Learn your body’s spiritual language…it’s not what you think! 10am-12pm Carlsbad. Call Now! 760.692.0252. Space is Limited To 20 people. www. myinnerwisdom.com. 02/10 IGNITE HEARTBRAIN POTENTIAL Initiates activation of energy enters and provides simple techniques to reconnect with the cosmic energy. This energy work enhances soul/ body harmony, self & collective awareness, joy and gratitude for individuals and society, empowers life in harmony & balance with the environment and universe. Seminars by Minh Dannerstedt, Ph.D., Hado Instructor. Lake Forest - CA. 10AM - 4PM. Consultations: by appointment. www.templeoflight.info, minh@ cox.net, 949.280.7716 02/10 FEBRUARY
27 - 28 SATURDAY - SUNDAY
MARCH 2 TUESDAY HAWAIIAN BAREFOOT MASSAGE TECHNIQUES – Deliver powerful, relaxing treatments while easy on the therapist! Natural Healing Institute, 760.943.8485, www. naturalhealinginst.com. 02/10 MARCH 5 - 7 FRIDAY - SUNDAY YIN & YANG YOGA Workshop with Paul & Suzee Grilley at Prana Yoga La Jolla. Also presenting sessions on “Chakra Theory” and “Yoga Anatomy: The Joints.” Go to www.prana-yoga.com or call 858.456.2806. 02/10 MARCH 6 SATURDAY “SONGS OF THE UNIVERSE” at the beautiful, new Music Recital Hall at Cabrillo College. A spectral range of sensations: music, projected imagery and language both spoken and sung - coalesce into an experience that is greater than the sum of its parts. 8:00pm, Cabrillo College Music Recital Hall, Aptos, CA www.NewMusicWorks. org 831.425.3526 03/10
FEBRUARY 27 SATURDAY PARTNER YOGA 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Bring a friend and learn the art of partner yoga. It’s always better with two. $108 per couple. www. yogawell.com Call now to register: 619.917.0998 02/10 V I S I O N M AG A Z I N E
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MARCH 7 SUNDAY EXPERIENCE UNIQUE ENERGY TREATMENTS AND PERSONAL TRANSFORMATION WITH ADAM DREAMHEALER INTENTION HEALS CONFERENCE. Rare appearance of Adam, international speaker, Molecular Biologist, author and gifted Native American energy healer teaching techniques to focus intentions on embracing your own healing power. As featured in “The Living Matrix” with astronaut Dr. Edgar Mitchell, Adam has presented at “What the Bleep” and Edgar Cayce’s A.R.E. conferences. Rolling Stone Magazine says “Adam is becoming one of the world’s most in-demand healers.” Learn techniques to focus your intentions toward healing and manifesting your desired reality. Be proactive and take control of every aspect of your life! All registrations www.dreamhealer.com 03/10 MARCH 21 SUNDAY FREE COMMUNITY LABYRINTH WALK 7:00pm – 8:30pm Poway, California 92064. Pamela Underwood, BFA, MA. Please RSVP 619.857.8820, pamela@ pamelaunderwood.com www. pamelaunderwood.com 03/10 MARCH 23 & 25 TUESDAY & THURSDAY PRO PENINSULA HOSTS SYRCL’S WILD & SCENIC ENVIRONMENTAL FILM FESTIVAL @ Hazard Ctr’s Ultrastar Cinemas. Tickets start at $15. Visit www.propeninsula.org/ wildscenic firstname.lastname@example.org 619.574.6643 03/10 MARCH 26 - 28 FRIDAY - SUNDAY
HEALTH FREEDOM EXPO Long Beach Convention Center. Exhibition hall filled with over 150 natural product vendors. 90 of the top speakers in the country. $15 for single day/$35 for all 3 days. For details see HealthFreedomExpo. com or call 888.658.EXPO (3976) 03/10
SUNDAYS FIND THE CENTER OF DIVINITY WITHIN! Inspirational prayers, metaphysical teachings, music, social hour to follow. 10:30AM11:30AM. Teaching of the Inner Christ 1100 N. Second St. Suite 1114 El Cajon, CA 92021. 619.447.7007 03/10 OM SPIRITUAL CENTER SUNDAY 10AM SERVICE All Faiths are welcome! 1233 Camino Del Rio South-Mission Valley, San Diego, 92108 Ph: 858.213.7061. For more details: www.omspiritualcenter.org 03/10 SPICA - WAY OF LIGHT INSPIRATIONAL SERVICES Every 2nd and 4th Sunday of the Month at Myztic Isle Bookstore in La Mesa. 9am. 619.588.6483 for information. 02/10
Harmony Grove Spiritualist Association
Incorporated and Serving ALL in California Since 1896
SaturdaysHealing 1:00pm Church 2:00pm
APRIL 10 - 11 SATURDAY - SUNDAY SOUTHWEST CONFERENCE ON BOTANICAL MEDICINE, TEMPE ARIZONA Topics include: Pelvic Decongestants; Cardiovascular Blood Markers; Top Ten Aromatic Herbs; Herb Walks and more! Keynote: Rosita Arvigo of Belize. CE credits. www. 800.252.0688 botanicalmedicine.org 04/10
SUNDAYS ONENESS MEDITATION – Use the breath as a pathway to connecting to Source and grounding to the new earth for empowerment, abundance and manifestation. Meditations convene from 11 – 12:30 on Sundays at The Imagine Center, 18635 Ventura Boulevard, Tarzana, CA 91356. Register at 818.345.1100 or online at www. theimaginecenter.com. Ample parking available. 02/10 V I S I O N M AG A Z I N E
Sundays Healing 10:00am Church 11:00am
1st Sat. of Month, 10:00am-4:00pm
Certification and Personal Growth Classes
• Mediumship • Healing • Ministerial • Ordinations
Private Readings Available Information about Speakers & Directions
Escondido, CA www.harmonygrovespiritualist.org
MONDAYS FREE PSYCHIC READINGS every FIRST Monday 7:30pm by students in Vessa’s INTUITIVE INSIGHTS Clairvoyant Program, 4455 Morena Blvd. #108, 858.509.7582 www.MyIntuition. Net 02/10
MONDAYS INTRODUCING FIRST MONDAYS AT THE IMAGINE CENTER – We’re normally closed on Mondays, but we will open our doors on the first Monday of each month from 10am – 7pm to address the time constraints of service professionals who also have Mondays free. First Mondays will be Service Professionals Day at The Imagine Center, with 10% off all retail merchandise with your business card. All classes of service are welcome. We offer intuitive readings and retail merchandise for spiritual enrichment and personal empowerment including books, candles, crystals, incense, jewelry, statuary, tarot and oracle cards and yoga wear. We are located at 18635 Ventura Boulevard, Tarzana, CA 91356, between Reseda and Yolanda. Free parking in the rear. Call 818.345.1100 or visit our online store at www.theimaginecenter. com. 02/10 TUESDAYS CLINICAL NUTRITION. Introductory or Full Certification. Special Discounts. Most comprehensive training from nationally honored Nutritionists. 7:00 – 9:45 PM. Natural Healing Institute, 760.943.8485, www.naturalhealinginst.com. 02/10 SHAMANIC TRANCE JOURNEYING Move into alternate realities in a safe space with Spiritualist trance medium, Elivia Melodey. Using global trance postures 10,000 years old for healing, transformation and divination. 7PM. San Marcos. Cost $20. Reservations call 760.471.7304. www.Elivia.com 02/10 WEDNESDAYS YOGA: SKILL IN ACTION - Stand in your bones, maintain an open spine. Learn to do “hard” poses, without tightening. San Diego www.blissyogi.com 619.813.6733 02/10 continued on page 46
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Stephanie Clair is renowned for her Cubist influenced artistry that reveals a profound understanding and celebration of the human soul. She gleans her inspiration from blissful, dreamy moments—a first love, a memory, lovers sipping wine, a guitar player finding his song—and captures a snapshot of these moments on canvas. Using environmentally friendly oils, Clair’s work challenges the eyes and minds of her viewers, inviting them into a three-dimensional world of people, passion and beauty. Her influences include Picasso, Matisse, Chagall, Modigliani and Kandinsky—hence the bright colors, dreamy people, and Cubist perspectives. “I wish to connect with people on the most raw and intimate levels of all—passion, weakness, love— feelings and emotions that we don’t always reveal,” Clair says. “These deeply woven thoughts inside our hearts and minds is that common thread where I can connect to my viewers, and ultimately to the world around me.” Raised in upstate New York, Clair drew her way through cold winter days. After high school, she moved to Virginia, where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Painting/Design at Old Dominion University. Having had enough cold to last a lifetime, Clair now happily calls sunny San Diego home.
The Unexpected Kiss in The Midst of Chaos
Attend Stephanie Clair’s Valentine’s Art Show February 13, 5-9 p.m. at her new studio located at 1912 Dale St., San Diego, CA. Enjoy art, wine, hors d’oeuvres, and 15 percent off all art. Clair’s work can also be viewed in select galleries throughout the world. Learn more at stephanieclair.com.
V I S I O N M AG A Z I N E
And Then I Met You...
F E B R UA RY 20 10
WEDNESDAYS CRYSTAL USE AND AWARENESS CLASS – Learn how to select and use crystals for healing and renewal. Classes taught by Paul Ka’iwi, third generation energy worker and 1999 graduate of Touch Therapy Institute of Encino, CA. You will learn how to feel crystal energy, select the right crystal, understand the chakras, scan the body with crystals, cleanse and program crystals. Tuition is reduced to $100 for the four week class if paid in advance, or $30 per class at the door. Tuition includes a set of 7 stones. Classes held on Wednesdays, 7 – 9pm at The Imagine Center, 18635 Ventura Boulevard, Tarzana, CA 91356. Register at 818.345.1100 or online at www.theimaginecenter.com. Ample parking available. 02/10 SOUNDING YOUR WAY TO JOY In this powerful six-week class we will be exploring the power of your own voice for healing, awareness and clarity. Facilitated by master sound healer, Elivia Melodey. Cost: $20. 7PM in San Marcos. RSVP required. Call 760.471.7304. www. Elivia.com 02/10 MIRACLE CIRCLE MEDITATION: Connect with your inner divinity through deep meditation, inspirational prayers, and group discussion. 7PM-8PM. Teaching of the Inner Christ 1100 N. Second St. Suite 1114 El Cajon, CA 92021. 619.447.7007 03/10 CLINICAL MASTER HERBOLOGY. Introductory or Full Certiﬁcation. Special Discounts. Most comprehensive training from nationally honored Master Herbalists. 7:00 – 9:45 PM. Natural Healing Institute, 760.943.8485, www.naturalhealinginst.com. 02/10
THURSDAYS FREE DETOXIFICATION AND WEIGHT LOSS CLASS 1st Thursday of every month. 6:30 PM. Easy and successful program. Register @ Body Basics Health Center, San Diego. 619.296.7390 05/10 FRIDAYS HAPPINESS CLASSES - Based on the life-healing teachings of VERNON HOWARD, Fridays 8pm; Sundays - 10am. New Life Foundation, 5779 Westminster Blvd., Westminster, CA. 714. 899.9300 Conquer stress, handle difﬁcult people with ease, banish problems. Donation basis. 02/10 SATURDAYS CORRINE’S MEDIUMSHIP CIRCLE – This weekly practice circle will help you increase your intuitive abilities and strengthen your connection with Spirit. Focus will be to clearly and safely receive and deliver loving messages from spirit guides, angels and deceased loved ones. The goal is to relate messages that are from the highest and best good of each participant. Circle convenes on Saturdays from 1 – 3:00pm at the Imagine Center, 18635 Ventura Blvd, Tarzana, CA 91356. $15 love offering. Reservations accepted at 818.345.1100 and online at www. theimaginecenter.com. 02/10
The Wellness Center 1281 University Avenue, San Diego, CA 92103 Suite A:
Optimum Health Chiropractic Wellness Center Dr. Dan Nuet 619.417.0249 www.to-good-health.com
Massage by Design, 619.952.2212 Karla “Koko” Klipper LMT www.massagebydesign.net
Laura Weide, HHP Massage Therapy 619.818.8449
Massage Collective @ Uptown Acupuncture Kirk Pfeiffer HHP Massage Therapy 619.339.9980 Suzie Husami LMT Massage Therapy 206.913.3139 Deborah DeCeasaris LMT Massage Therapy 619.218.2333 Tate Baker LMT Massage Therapy 414.324.3212 James Eason LMT Massage Therapy 619.888.2502
HOLISTIC HEALING FAIR AT THE TEMPLE OF LIGHT 10am3pm. Highest Quality Healers. $20 for 20 minutes. First Saturday of every month. Lake Forest, CA. 949.340.7408 www.templeoﬂight. info 07/10
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V I S I O N M AG A Z I N E
F E B R UA RY 20 10
Uptown Acupuncture and Massage Kirk Pfeiffer M.S. L.Ac. 619.339.9980 www.UptownAcupuncture.net
Vision in Design Graphic Design & Printing 619.985.6347 email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Vision Magazine Catalyst For Conscious Living 619.294.2393 www.visionmagazine.com
Exotic Tropical Flowers Perfect for Valentine’s Day FREE SHIPPING! Fresh From Hawaii Bouquets starting at $65 www.GraceTropicalFlowers.com • 800.339.3350
Devin Grace, MA
Psychic Consultant / Energy Clearer 800.980.7636 www.DevinGrace.com
For over two decades, Devin Grace has assisted thousands of people to wake up to greater professional, spiritual and personal success. Her clients include politicians, healers, professionals, therapists, families, couples, addicts in recovery, entrepreneurs, teachers, artists, spiritual seekers and many others!
Photo by Maria Howell
• Over 20 years of psychic consulting experience • Advanced degrees in Business and Psychology • Master’s degree in Spiritual Psychology • Award-winning spiritual screenwriter
How I work
Business • Personal • Spiritual
“I am Clairvoyant (clear seeing), Clairsentient (clear feeling), and Clairaudient (clear hearing). I see, feel, and hear messages from your guides who are intimately familiar with you, your life, your lessons. During the sessions, vast amounts of blocked energy get removed and immediate healing begins.”
In-Depth Psychic Consulting C l i e n t Te s t i m o n i a l H i g h l i g h t s
Absolutely blown away during my session with you ♥ Truly unparalleled ♥ Profound impact ♥ A single session with you is like ten therapy sessions ♥ I’ve been a skeptic about readings but this has changed my mind completely ♥ Far better than psychotherapy ♥ I could feel the energy coming through the phone ♥ I’ve had a few readings and by far, yours was the best! ♥ What an astonishing experience! ♥ You got me through one of the most difficult periods of my life ♥ You were dead on! ♥ I found an immediate shift ♥ I couldn’t believe the amount of issues we covered in such a short time! ♥ I think our session may have saved me years of anguish ♥ Giving peace of mind in times of total confusion ♥ An incredible resource & ally ♥ Shockingly accurate – and always honest ♥ Unforgettable! ♥ Understood to my core
To R e a d O v e r 2 0 0 Te s t i m o n i a l s P l e a s e V i s i t w w w . D e v i n G r a c e . c o m