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earpiercing

Discovering the spirituality of tattoos

Michelle Obama is sans tattoos because “polite society” still frowns upon them. But body-art has a long, sacred tradition. A Boomer’s tattoo confession.

Photo by Paul Clark RGD

GUEST COLUMN: MARY GIUFFRE — I wear two tattoos.  The top of my left arm hosts an OM symbol, which, to my mind, reinforces my commitment to a spiritual path.  In the same spot on my right arm (that’s me, stage left) is an icon of an energetic spiral, a reflection of our very galaxy.

I love body art! And talk about an archetype, the first tattoo I ever remember seeing was on the forearm of a wrinkled, unassuming sailor.  It was a bell, faded by time but I loved the way it shifted and melted when his aged muscle flexed.

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hasan

A cure for the reptilian brain

A priest and psychotherapist finds answers in Genesis, the work of Carl Jung and the science of meditation

BY DAVID RICKEY — Hate crimes are nothing new. They have been around ever since the homo sapien emerged from its evolutionary forebears.  Animals have an instinctive “fight or flight” response built into their brain structure.

Human beings, as they evolved, didn’t lose it; they just built on top of this “reptilian brain.” The new layer was the “cerebral cortex,” which allowed us to reflect on experiences and develop ideas rather than just act out instinctual responses. And therein lies the problem. Hate is the just the attitudinal equivalent of  “Fight or Flight”.

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jobsearch

Six ways to combine a job search with your spiritual path

Confessions from a job management coach on how to use surrender, service and grace to make your next career move

GUEST COLUMN: JEFF ROBINSON — From July 2005 until approximately April 2006, I began a spiritual transformation that changed the course of my life in some amazing and often difficult ways, and which continues to this day.

After more than 20 years of seeking a spiritual path that made sense to me, a friend introduced me to one of the best selling books on spirituality ever written: Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda.

Yogananda-ji came to the U.S. in the 1920’s and stayed until the time of his death in 1952, introducing hundreds of thousands to the spiritual path of Kriya Yoga.   He is widely credited as being the driving force in bringing yoga to the west.

I couldn’t put the book down, and literally fell in love with both Yogananda and his teachings.

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bully

Spiritual Surf: A new Pope Ratzinger time bomb; Fear of flying; Shy bullies

Nervous flyers Zen out; new science on the Napoleon complex; sexism gets in the way of getting sex

Did Ratzinger send an abusive priest to a safe-house? Pope groped by newest European church sex-abuse scandal

Airport coping skills: Meditations for take off and landing in The calm Zone

Capital of sex, capital of compassion: Amsterdam hosts meeting of world-wide spiritual and religious leaders to combat AIDS phobia

I’m not a bully, I’m just shy: New research links socially-anxious people and aggressive behavior

How to ruin a whole gender in the eyes of the ‘better half’: Women who witness sexism more likely to view all men in a negative light


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How to create spiritual love scenes

How to create spiritual love scenes

I makenamaste” my daily mantra for all of my relationships

GUEST COLUMN: REV. CRISS ITTERMANN, 2nd of two parts —The Sanskrit term “Namasté” (nah-mahs-tay) is loosely translated to mean  “I honor the Spirit in you.”  It is a word for the feeling of our Higher Self greeting or recognizing the Higher Self of another.

It is recognizing the divinity in others, the connection between all things, the reflection of our own sacredness when we see the sacredness of another.  I suggest using Namasté when you mean it, when you feel the connection with another person and are sourced in your own sacredness.

During this celebration of sacred and unconditional love, remember to be sourced in your own sacred higher powers, and to recognize that higher power in others.  Use this day as an opportunity to go out of your way to honestly say, “Namasté,” to everyone you greet.

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FROM THE ARCHIVE: Vanity Fair Ranks the Top 20 Yogis

FROM THE ARCHIVE: Vanity Fair Ranks the Top 20 Yogis

Vanity Fair devotes 20 pages to The World’s Greatest Yoga Masters

SOUL’S CODE — The currency of America’s highest-end celeb zine is, in a word, power. Vanity Fair’s entire franchise is to portray power as A) good looks, B) political status and C) financial bling. Now they’ve discovered D: power can show up, even in their dimension, as prowess of the spiritual kind.

Among Vanity Fair’s top 20 masters, BKS Iyengar we get. Approaching 90 years of age, dude completely invented the style of yoga practiced in America —  and learned at the feet of a yogi in Pune, India in 1937.

And we’ll give the magazine a free pass for spotlighting super-model Christy Turlington, in the image above, in their pantheon of adepts. She owns the yoga-wear brand, Nuala, studied religions and philosophy at NYU —  and is married to Ed Burns.

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Angela Brown “tu lips”

The search for the magical Other

A Jungian psychologist’s take on Eros and Valentine’s Day

BY PAUL KAIHLA — This is the one day of the year in our secular society where a celibate Catholic gets top-billing, marquee treatment. There were probably three saints called Valentine, one of whom history says is entombed in Rome’s catacombs.

But the origin of Valentine’s Day is in a medieval social custom, so it’s not like a long, lost high-holy-day has been hijacked by capitalist consumerism.

The custom marks the first day of spring mating season, so let’s hand over the mike to psychologist James Hollis for his take on how we modern humans channel that energy — eros, in Greek mythology:

Eros is dynamic and shape-shifting . . . always going somewhere, seeking to connect, to fill in, to transcend. Just as nature, we are told, abhors a vacuum, so our psyche is terrified by emptiness. Seeking to fill that emptiness, we all too often fill it with ourselves. Wheresoever space opens, into that hole flies projection . . . Eros substitutes as it seeks the Cosmic Other in the frail vessel of the Beloved.

Illustration, “tu lip,” courtesy of Angela Brown

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ego

Technically speaking, everyone around you is a projection

How to use the prism of trans-personal psychology to find yourself in the people and things you see around you every day

GUEST COLUMN: SUE FREEMAN When I come into contact with my authentic self, I discover my innermost critic, sage, child, lovestruck groupie and friend.

All these characters and more live within each of us, and represent an aspect of ourselves we either embrace or deny.

Then we go out into the world, come into contact with other people, develop or end relationships. We see in these people aspects we are drawn to or behaviors that repel us.

But in truth, we are seeing a mirror.  Other people’s actions reflect a version of ourselves.

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An Ash Wednesday confession: You are stardust

An Ash Wednesday confession: You are stardust

If happiness equals slimming-down the ego, the Imposition of Ashes on the first day of Lent is a powerful and public ritual of spiritual self-immolation

BY ANONYMOUS — I did confession (Ash Wednesday) and received the imposition of ashes. I’ve never felt so stripped naked in public as when I kneeled below the altar, and the priest made the sign of the cross on my forehead with ashes and said: “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return” (or ‘stardust’, as I like to say…)

It was a shock to have the fact of my mortality announced so officially and openly. Truly humbling to realize this me is a fleeting illusion… It feels overwhelming when everyone else in the church is acknowledging their mortality, too, one by one.

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lent

Ash Wednesday and the ghost in you

A ritual for Lent: make a daily list of what brings you joy, and what brings you closer to Spirit

No, we don’t mean our favorite song by the Psychedelic Furs, which was given a short second life a couple of years ago by the Adam Sandler-Drew Barrymore vehicle 50 First Dates.

But now that we brought it up, did you ever wonder where they got that phrase, ‘the ghost in you’? Check out Corinthians 6:19, one of the most famous passages in the Bible:

Know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, who is in you, which you have from God, and you are not your own? . . . Therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

The passage points to the reason that people of a certain persuasion, starting tomorrow, give up pleasures of the flesh like coffee, sweets, alcohol or cigarettes. It’s a cleansing ritual that honors the temple of your body, and the Spirit which gave rise to it.

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