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What is the most spiritual city in the U.S.A.?

Most of the gurus on Soul’s Code say that spirituality cannot be measured. But an economist would reply with two words: Ojai, California

BY PAUL KAIHLA — Ojai, CA is to spirituality what Silicon Valley is to technology. Due east and a 40-minute hop inland from Santa Barbara, Ojai has more mind-body spas per capita than anywhere else in the U.S. — probably, the world.

How does Ojai pull that kind of rank? For one thing, it’s got a tiny population: 8,000 souls. For another, Ojai was the North American base of the great Indian mystic, J. Krishnamurti. He underwent one of the most famous enlightenments in history at Ojai in 1922.

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Sonny

How your pet shares your emotions

Secrets of a real-life horse whisperer

BY JENNIFER SCALIA  — If we conduct a collective check-in on how we relate to animals, some of Hollywood is a barometer. Birds, as in Hitchcock’s 1963 film with Tippi Hedren, may be feared. Rats (Willard) and snakes (Samuel Jackson) are to be loathed.

But horses, from Gladiator to Westerns to the Horse Whisperer, deserve our love.

I had never learned to ride a horse before doing healing work with this species that bred movie stars but I saw the Robert Redford movie and loved the book by Nicholas Evans — one of the few I could actually get myself to read back then.

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In to Africa

In to Africa

Our evolutionary origins lie in Africa. We share 98% of our DNA with chimps. A peak experience and political story about a chimp in Africa.

BY G. PASCAL ZACHARY — There’s a collective code that asks Christians to be their brother’s keeper.  Buddhists go a step deeper, and embrace a first principle that we are not distinct entities at all but plot-points along a continuum of being called consciousness.

Well, I’m Jewish. And I’m a secular one at that. So a code that I go to is Darwin’s intersection with DNA.

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sexandlove1

When sex and love are not one and the same

A heart-breaking work of staggering honesty: Sins of My Faith. In this Soul’s Code exclusive, a woman who lost her innocence to incest explains why she did not “out” her abuser

BY MARINA GIULLIANI: It’s commonly understood that incest refers to “sexual acts between close relatives”, but I know from first-hand experience that incest is a heinous act that no dictionary definition could possibly prepare you for.

Fondled by a respected member of our family, from the time I was much too young to know what havoc the guilt of sexual pleasure would bestow on my future, I lost my innocence to incest.

At one time I would have agreed with those who claim that rape is a far more serious abuse than touching. But now that I’ve put all the pieces together, it’s apparent that my subconscious made no such distinction.

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How I found my secret space, away

How I found my secret space, away

A political consultant drops out of the @$$#*!~ race, and follows the footsteps of an eco-resort pioneer

BY MARLA HUNTER-BELLAVIA — From the moment I read about the sanctuary that Isabel Jordan had created in Yelapa, Mexico I felt a personal appointment with destiny.

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ssri and suicide

A mental health manifesto: How to occupy your own mind

. . . before Big Pharma, Madison Avenue, Hollywood Boulevard and Tin Pan Alley occupy it for you

By Michele Ritterman — Our homes and 401 (k)’s aren’t the only territory that we’re losing to a One Percent whose disproportionate control of wealth has provoked grassroots “Occupy” protests across America since September, 2011.

We also appear to be losing our minds. When I began studying psychotherapy in the 1970s the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) for mental disorders was 134 pages long. It listed 182 conditions. The current edition of the DSM now lists over 300 disorders that fill 886 pages.

Have we actually developed more than 100 new mental illnesses in a single generation?

What the heck happened?

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Author Jennifer Scalia

Why I had cosmetic surgery, and then un-did it

What others thought of me on the outside, mattered. My true make-over happened on the inside.

BY JENNIFER SCALIA — I am an American-born woman, raised — and still living in — the near-geographical center of the continental U.S.

St. Louis is my home, and is always on the move (a transportation hub for the country . . . no wonder the biggest moving company in the world, United Van Lines, is headquartered here).

My family? Literally middle America.

In this time and place — actually, it was ’97 (wow, that seems so long ago) — I somehow conceived that I had a “small” physical imperfection in my upper-body that needed an amendment.

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7 things to do while you’re on Soul’s Code

7 things to do while you’re on Soul’s Code

What are we about? A 20-second tour . . .

1. PEAK EXPERIENCES

Have you ever had a peak experience? Read honest, life-altering accounts under our category, Peak Experiences.

The term was coined by one of the founders of humanistic psychology, Abraham Maslow. Peak Experiences are aspirational stories about natural highs: (Paul Kaihla on the shaman origins of the sauna), first-person breakthroughs (Jennifer Scalia on her greatest love, ever), and psychotherapist David Rickey on his Aha! Moment that took him a lifetime.

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The greatest love story ever told

The greatest love story ever told

I fell into a world of hurt. My way out? How about just loving myself

BY JENNIFER SCALIA — My love story isn’t about a lover, per se. Instead, it is about the relationship I decided to have with myself.

Sounds quaint but think about it for a moment.

We’ve all been taught to love others as we love ourselves. The Bible told us so.

But how many of us truly love ourselves? I, for one, never learned how to do it.

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Exclusive book excerpt: Quiet Power

Exclusive book excerpt: Quiet Power

Why I make compassion my safety net. (Editor’s note: the author is the model)

BY JANICE CARTER-LEVITCH — We all have it within us.

The ability to be still and observe the world around us.

To know and understand what ground we stand on. Meaning who we really are. Most of us are constantly searching and wanting to discover the essence of our existence.

Be still and listen to what resides within you. Your thoughts about who you are.

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