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Spiritual Surf: Vatican gives Half-Blood Prince thumbs up, Mira Sorvino’s miracle baby, and an eye on Oprah

We surf Oprah . . . so you don’t have to

The L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, has given Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince a four star rating.

Not overly concerned that most of the characters are witches and warlocks, the article praises the movie for its values of “friendship, altruism, loyalty and self-giving.”  Catholic News Service.

Mira’s miracle?

One wonders if the word “miraculous” is getting too much play.  Mira Sorvino’s third child has been called a “miracle baby.”

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Farrah Fawcett a spiritual role model? She was for me

After Charlie’s Angels ended, Farrah embraced the divine

GUEST COLUMN: DR. JEANINE AUSTIN — Farrah Fawcett was a huge beauty icon for all of us who came of age in the ’70s. I didn’t know any 13-year-old girls that didn’t, in some way, try to copy the Farrah feathered hair style. In earnest, I took a photo of Farrah to my hairstylist who offered to create a variation of the Farrah hairstyle for me. I was completely deflated at the thought that my hair could not be made to resemble Farrah’s exactly.

I felt burdened by the injustice of it. I didn’t have blond hair, thick hair or wavy hair, which made my morning efforts with the curling iron laborious. I admit that I stayed home from school on several occasions simply because I couldn’t get the Farrah feathered hair down.

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Spiritual Surf: David Carradine’s split soul; Wright on God; celebrating less, crystals buck downturn, and more

Kung Fu and the trappings of transformation

The West Coast new age community embraced actor David Carradine as a kind of icon of east-meets-west mysticism, largely because of his leading role in the 1970s TV show, Kung Fu. He even headlined at the Conscious Life Expo in L.A. in February, 2009 (sponsored in part by Soul’s Code.)  Now, days after his death in Bangkok at the beginning of June, journalists have discovered that Carradine was a split soul, viz. this TMZ story about his fetishes and sex-toy shopping sprees. You don’t have to be in Hollywood to get wrapped up in re-branding your personality as “spiritual,” while holding real transformation at bay. Our thoughts  for Carradine’s safe voyage to the other side.

Reverend Wright on the evolution of God

In a surprisingly sensitive essay in this week’s Time, Orange County, Calif., mega-church preacher, Robert Wright — the controversial cleric tapped by Obama to lead the sermon at his inauguration —  discusses in frank terms the “evolution of God.” Wright writes: all three of the great monotheisms —  Judaism, Christianity and Islam —  have gone through periods of religious belligerence and spiritual tolerance.

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Spiritual Surf: Lisa Rinna’s peak experience while “Dancing with the Stars”

Lisa Rinna invents a new mind-body technique, “Rinnavation”; Obama goes to Notre Dame; Huston Smith, the world’s leading religious pluralist

The Hollywood actress (Entourage; Hannah Montana; Melrose Place, etc.), soap star (Days of our Lives) and Dancing with the Stars hoofer — has a new book out, Rinnavation: Getting Your Best Life Ever.

The cute term, “Rinnavation,” is her own euphemism for peak experience (because, hey, she knows her readers will want whatever she’s got), which the celeb said she had while a contestant on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. “It sounds so crazy but dance touched my soul,” she told an Entertainment Weekly reporter.

While Rinna’s current Playboy May 2009 cover spread may give one cause to question that claim, Rumi famously said that the path to enlightenment is made of 77,000 baby steps. We hope that the dance steps that got her started carry her to a real Rinnavation.

So just what did Obama say at Notre Dame?

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Spiritual Surf: Star Trek’s Vulcan spirit, yoga culture in Enlighten Up!, ghost hunter Hans Holzer dies at 89

Star Trek’s Vulcan spirit

On Friday pointy-eared fans will be lining up to see the new J.J. Abrams (Lost, Alias) Star Trek. Central to the new plot is Mr. Spock, played by both the original, Leonard Nimoy, and by the young Zachary Quinto. Spock — with his Vulcan blend of logic and mysticism so obviously derived from a mix of Eastern practices that seem to include Zen, the Tao, a dash of Shaolin Kung Fu for martial flavor (can you say “Vulcan neck pinch?”) and the Kabbalah (Nimoy, who is Jewish, is said to have derived the “Vulcan peace sign” from an ancient kohanim gesture — has always been Star Trek’s most engaging character. Just for fun, here are some resources on Vulcan practices created by Trekker fans:

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Spiritual Surf: Astronaut’s “X-Files,” sex and the single girl, priestly scandals, and Oprah tweets

It’s tough being one of the forgotten astronauts. You know the guys who went to the moon who aren’t either — Neil Armstrong or Buzz Aldrin. (Quick: What was the name of Armstrong and Aldrin’s companion astronaut? For the answer see the end of the article.)

Well, astronaut Edgar Mitchell, who flew to the moon in February of 1971, has been getting some controversial ink recently.  Addressing a crowd of UFO-ologists at the National Press Club, Mitchell said, “We are being visited” by aliens from outer space. “It is now time to put away this embargo of truth about the alien presence.” Soul’s Code enthusiasts tend to think the truth is in here. But what if it’s out there*way* out there?

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Spiritual Surf: Bladerunner meets Lost, Dalai Lama’s “Liberation”, Meditating Spaces, Eckhart Tolle Says “Enough!”

Lost meets Bladerunner

Let’s start with Darryl Hannah to help you make this connection. She played Pris, the “pleasure model” android in Bladerunner, Ridley Scott’s dystopian translation of Philip K. Dick’s 1968 sci-fi novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? In Bladerunner, Hannah hides out with the same supporting actor who popped up last week as a mad scientist in the Dharma Initiative on Lost.

His name: William Sanderson. Twenty-seven years ago in Bladerunner, Sanderson played J. F. Sebastian, the prematurely-aged geek who invents FX-like toys. The title of Lost‘s season 5, episode 10, “He’s Our You”, is actually about Sanderson’s character.

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Spiritual Surf: Lost says, “Namaste”, Tony Robbins writes “vanity”, Jennifer Aniston’s Dogma, Yuppie Islam and More

Lost goes all the way with, Namaste

When the Sopranos was on the air, Soul’s Code liked to call the HBO “family” show the TV series with the most mystical messaging. Sorry Tony, but ABC’s Lost now blows your crew off the screen on that score. The way that Lost routinely plays with the notion of both linear time and personal identity as illusions of the mind makes it the most spiritual show on TV.

Episode 9 of Season 5 is called, “Namaste”, a Sanskrit word uttered when you bow to the divinity, or spark in the heart chakra, of another. “Namaste” is also the greeting they say on the Lost island to new recruits at the Dharma Initiative, a 1970′s scientific commune that is now the center of action for Jack (Matthew Fox), Kate (Evangeline Lily), Sawyer and the other main characters.

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Spiritual Surf: Dalai Lama’s Hell on Earth, Brad Pitt explores the soul of Percy Fawcett, and Dr. Phil “Creamed”

Dalai Lama: Tibet has become “Hell on Earth”

Speaking yesterday in Dharamsala, India, on the 50th anniversary of Tibet’s foiled uprising against Chinese rule, the Dalai Lama warned that Tibetan culture faces extinction and that authoritarian rule has made life in the Himalayan nation “hell on earth.”

It’s one of the boldest announcements that the Peace prize winning leader has yet uttered against the government that claims its policies are designed to do just the opposite – create a post-faith, materialist heaven on earth.

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Spiritual Surf: Founding Faith, India’s Top 10 Gurus, Giant Dr. Phil Gets Axe, and More

Beliefnet Founder’s Founding Faith

Talking about his new book, Founding Faith: How Our Founding Fathers Forged a Radical New Approach to Religious Liberty, on National Public Radio last week, Beliefnet co-founder, Steve Waldman, debunks the twin myths that the Founding Fathers were either a pack of howling evangelicals or a group of proto-new age spiritualists. The Fathers’ intent, he says, was actually to promote faith by separating religion from government.

Dr. Phil, tear down this billboard!

Residents of West Los Angeles, irked over the size of a huge, 60 by 100-foot Dr. Phil billboard on National Blvd., complained to the city.

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