In a past post I have featured this retreat center composed of several close-by locations, Spirit Skies and Spirit Falls. The owner and manager, Bodhi Heart, has now added and renovated Spirit Skies and is offering a opening discount of 30% on all week retreats in July and August and 20% off for retreats in September and October. These are silent retreats in small, personal cabins, not guided or group retreats. It seems that Bodhi has finished his third cabin and plans to sell the Spirit Falls retreat.
SPIRIT FALLS – “How to Find & Buy a Retreat”Would you like to change your life? This 4-day, 3-night weekend seminar will show you how easy it can be to create a personal retreat lifestyle in nature. Through case studies of two retreats that are now for sale– spiritfallsretreat.com and namasteretreat.com –you will see how to find, value, buy, and create your own small retreat center.Mention this offer when you inquire for the 50% OFF EMAIL SPECIAL – For more info, click: http://www.spiritfallsretreat.com/#!find-retreats-for-saleSPIRIT SKIES – Grand re-opening with 2 new cabinsEarth Mother and Elk Spirit have been added to Spirit Skies personal retreat, and we are currently having a 30% OFF GRAND RE-OPENING SPECIAL for retreats of one or more weeks.There is also a new video of our newborn elk (9 calves in 2014) on the website front page. For more, click: spiritskiesretreat.com.
People who have come across the US border into Canada have probably been past the exit for White Rock, a small community along the sea coast. As border towns go, White Rock is quite wonderful – no gaudy taverns, few late night arrests and a number of wonderful beaches with eclectic restaurants and shops to delight. There are even a couple of piers for those who come by boat. Here’s an article written this week by a resident of White Rock about Vicki, the owner of this website. Please come to visit!
Think fox hunts are a thing of the past? Well there are intrepid groups that keep the tradition alive. Here’s one of them living on the coastal area north of Vancouver, Canada. As you’ll see in the video, they no longer hunt foxes (there aren’t enough and who wants to kill the poor creatures?). However, the dogs get a reward at the end and the people eat royally. If you enjoyed this video (certainly not my typical post), please leave a comment below. I’d like to suggest a book that includes much more than hunting stories, The FoxFire Book. It’s a tried and true primer for anyone who wants to live in a remote place. Yes, there are still places like that, especially in Canada.
Among the other articles, I have featured over the past years some very unusual trips to remote but safe locations. I’m sure I will continue to provide these “finds” to readers in the years to come. Here’s an article by an itinerant traveller, Lori Erikson, who has actually gone on most of the trips she features on her website, “The Holy Rover Blog”. Tune in later to read about some of her trips to far-off and nearby places. Now let’s take a step back and reflect on why people choose spiritual journeys. Here are Lori’s words.
Spiritual travel has long been a source of fascination for me. I’ve gotten up at 3:00 a.m. to chant in Buddhist monasteries, lingered over morning coffee with nuns in Iowa, walked part of the Camino de Santiago in Spain, splashed myself with holy water in Lourdes, and gathered holy dirt from the floor in Chimayo, New Mexico. In 20 years of experiencing such sites and writing about spiritually oriented travel, I believe there are several reasons why growing numbers of people are interested in this type of journeying:
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She goes on to explain some very compelling reasons: 1) spiritual tourism is inexpensive, 2) holy sites are often in beautiful places that are refreshing to visit, 3) holy sites appeal to baby boomers who are now retiring as the sites bring them closer to spiritual direction and reflection on the end of life, 4) spiritual journeys appeal to young people as there is drama and excitement at these locations, 5) spiritual sites are increasing in number with people making them special such as St. Paul’s Chapel across from the World Trade Center site.
Here again are Lori’s words.
It’s not surprising that Americans—who have some of the highest levels of religious belief in the world—want to take their faith on vacation with them. But spiritual travel is actually the world’s oldest form of tourism. Most religions recognize the value of pilgrimage, from Muslims traveling to Mecca and Jews to Jerusalem to Buddhists journeying to the sites associated with Gautama Buddha.
Taken from http://spiritualtravels.info
However, it is not only Americans who travel the ancient paths of spiritual journeys. One only needs to journey to one of these special and amazing places to find a great variety of languages being spoken and to see people of all ages and walks of life. It is indeed an adventure and a great blessing that we on Earth have these places for anyone to experience.
In my surfing the web for interesting information I couldn’t resist clicking on the heading, “spiritual gangster”. Is there such a creature? Yes, the company touts the philosophy that some people want a “balance between the ancient practice of yoga and our modern world”. The store are quite numerous not just in the US and Canada but internationally. If I have counted correctly the website lists 255 stores carrying the Spiritual Gangster products. I see some fun sales methods too – like the pop-up window that announces, “We’re connected now. Please log in to receive great discounts” or the 10% discount on the first order for joining the mailing list.
But what products are so popular to be sold everywhere? You can search by category, Women’s Men’s, Accessories or Sales items. Most of the items have “spiritual gangster” or “warrior” on them, such as tees, shirts and hats. You can shop by size, style, color or item name. What is significantly absent is sales of yoga mats and all the paraphernalia used with yoga. The models are beautiful but do they practice yoga?
Well. I wish them well. I’m not sure what the attraction is. Maybe it’s something for the younger generation. My computer suggests some “related searches” for spiritual practice, meditation retreat, yoga training and yoga classes. I think I’ll go there next.
We now have Kindle books that can be downloaded for free or a minimal charge, so it was only a matter of time before we have entire free books that can be downloaded in various formats for your reading convenience. Now some people may not find reading on a screen convenient or relaxing, but those of us who have adapted to electronic readers you can hold in your hands with larger lettering or place savers at the push of a button would disagree. Here is a comprehensive guide to spiritual healing that might be of interest to you. According to the table of contents it includes chapters on what is spiritual healing, finding a spiritual healer, becoming a healer, books and courses on healing, Biblical references to healing, Islam and Kabbalah spiritual healing and of course chapters on all the various types of healing.
With the advent of new theories and medical practices, the face of traditional medicine continues to change in today’s world. In addition to standard medical practices, many people are discovering that there can be distinct health advantages in spiritual healing practices.
But just what is spiritual healing? And how can it help you to take a most holistic approach to all health care and well-being? Spiritual healing is, by definition, is the use of non-physical means to treat illness or affliction. Sometimes referred to as “faith healing,” spiritual healing is a type of treatment generally considered to be classified as “alternative” or non-traditional. Yet the roots of spiritual healing go back for centuries, and some form of this treatment have been shown to exist is almost every culture known to history.
At its core, spiritual healing involves channeling a type of energy from one person, the “healer,” to another. Practitioners claim that this energy can help to heal or alleviate physical,mental or spiritual ailments. The healer is generally thought to be a medium for the healing powers that are coming from a higher power, or spirit.
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It’s available at http://www.royaltyfreeproducts.com and also at Scribd.com. The above quote is part of the introduction of this book, A Guide to Spiritual Healing by Royalty Free Coaching Products. It seems that the book is an advertising method to introduce people to this organization. However, the book is there for you to read without investing in the services of this organization. If anyone does try out the services of Royalty Free, please let me know by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
For anyone who enjoys train travel the Canadians have put together a series of super trips through western Canada and down to Seattle in the US. This video you are about to watch is a promo for the trips with Tanya Memme, former Miss Canada as the narrator/host. The trips run from $2500 – $5000 depending on the service level for 3 or 4 days on board the Rocky Mountaineer. Although the trip is right in my back yard I would consider taking it just for the experience shown in this video. Enjoy.
Remember the 4 “S” – scenery, service, sweet and savory food , and social. If you would like to try this trip please click like below. Sorry – there’s no “love” to click!
This festival has been going since 1986 in the United States and has grown amazingly each year. It’s now held in the northern Nevada desert called Black Rock Desert. It opens every year on the last Monday of August and goes till the first Monday in September, a holiday in the US (Labor Day). The name comes from a large 40 foot or 12 meter high wooden effigy of a man that is burned on Saturday night each year. Here is an article by Derek Beres writing for the Huffington Post (“Religion Canada” section) about this year’s celebration.
The annual ritual known as Burning Man probably had 60,900 meanings for everyone in attendance this year. But my second sojourn to the festival in the desert verified what I recalled from my first: This is the most widespread example that America has at consciously creating a modern mythology. Myths have always had conscious and unconscious elements — the ritual is consciously constructed, but what happens within the container of the construction is anyone’s guess. This is the empty space where magic happens.
To dive further into this idea, I’d like to use Joseph Campbell’s four functions of a mythology to show how beyond a party and getting f’d up in the desert, Burning Man is a mythology in the making, creating a social order relevant to our time, right now, 2012 America.
The Mystical Function
Campbell’s first requirement was that mythology must inspire awe in the universe. Modern America was built on biblical desert mythologies, even if most Americans would want to do anything but live in such an environment today. Standing in the middle of the Playa — the art-driven center of the camp — at 2 a.m., whipping yourself around to find a perfect circumference of lights, mutant vehicles and sound systems the size of midtown Manhattan clubs is, to say the least, awe-inspiring. All mythologies were created by humans; I hope we’re evolved enough to understand that no god rushed down from wherever to “give” a human some special message. Therefore, what really matters is imagination. Burning Man is a safe space to fully explore and share your creative edge. Seeing what 60,000 humans can create in the span of a week, only to be destroyed (explained later), is more mystical to the human mind than reading stories of a man who might have done this or that thousands of years ago.
The Cosmological Function
Campbell’s second function was that a mythology had to explain the shape of the universe. Obviously, we’ve had many different shapes offered to us. The shape of Burning Man is impermanence, a principle deeply entwined with Buddhism. While the entire gathering has been written off as wasteful — it is not cheap to attend; I spent $1,200 for six days — the festival is a living example of what art and life can be when we move beyond the bottom line. Think about this: In the span of two weeks (including build and breakdown), a city is constructed, celebrated and deconstructed. This is the exact representation of the triune deities of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva in Indian mythology. Creation, destruction and, yes, sustainability; the ritual occurs yearly as an annual reminder of the transience of life, much like the Mexican myths of the corn goddess or the eternal return of Osiris. Theology teaches us the importance of the afterlife, which often serves as a way of not taking responsibility for the life we are living now; think of the anti-global warming furor of the GOP, for one example. When the man burns on Saturday evening, we are reminded not only of very old fire mythologies, designed to represent the impermanence of nature, but that we are part of an extremely long process that did not begin nor end with us. Celebrating the process for what it is defines our cosmological outlook.
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He goes on to describe the other two functions of Campbell’s mythology, the sociological and pedagogical functions. A bit more about this festival to give you some idea of what is is all about. There is a city constructed with streets where people camp. There are different theme camps (now over 700 of them) and art displays, including “mutant vehicles”, the only cars allowed on the site. A mutant vehicle must be so altered as to mask entirely the original body. For example, a VW van that has doll heads and paint stuck to the sides is considered a decorated vehicle but not a mutant vehicle. There are now over 600 approved mutant vehicles. Bicycles are allowed, especially decorated ones and the Green Tortoise Bus Line provides transportation from nearby towns. There is a more complete description of this festival on Wikipedia. If you have ever been to this festival please leave a comment, OK?