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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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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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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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Stone temple pilot: Teotihuacan, Mexico

Stone temple pilot: Teotihuacan, Mexico

FROM THE ARCHIVES: The largest pyramid in the Americas has drawn people from around the world who want a peak experience. Now I know why. I just had one.

PAUL KAIHLA — Like a typico gringo, I launched into a litany of questions about historical facts so that I could “know” Teotihuacan, a sacred city that was built by the Toltecs 2,000 years ago — that is, at about the same time that an Atlantic away the Romans were achieving hegemony over the antique world and crucifying Christ.

My guide dissuaded me from such thinking — and thinking, at all.

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How did I grow wise with age? I started young

How did I grow wise with age? I started young

A psychologist who grew up in California and now lives in Germany, reports a peak experience she had in Japan

BY CATHERINE ANN LOMBARD — Are peak experiences so rare to the average American? Such a shame. The late, great Italian psychiatrist — and victim of Mussolini’s regime — Roberto Assagioli called them transpersonal experiences.

Call them what you want: Peak experiences have informed me and my life for many years. Perhaps one of the earliest and strongest occurred in 1987 while I was living in Japan. After graduating from UC Berkeley, I moved to Fukuyama, about 400 miles south of Tokyo to teach English.

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A peak experience from Tucson

A peak experience from Tucson

A spiritual author takes Joseph Campbell at his word, and follows his bliss . . . up Arizona’s Finger Rock

SPECIAL TO SOUL’S CODE: JONATHAN LOWE —  About a peak experience, I had one literally this past week climbing what’s called Finger Rock in the Catalina mountains north of Tucson, where I live.  People generally don’t take the time to commune with nature, or to realize that we are part of it rather than conquerors of it.

What’s amazing about Tucson is that you can be in city traffic and congestion one moment, and after ten minutes . . . on a trail at the edge of the city be in the wilderness of a mountain canyon with no sounds or view at all of what you left behind.

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Why Halo Reach, Grand Theft Auto IV, and Final Fantasy are a religious experience

SPIRITUAL IQ QUIZ — Religions channel the fears and aspirations of our collective unconscious through archetypal images and stories. That’s why the religious enterprise has been so successful for such a long period of time.

And maybe it’s also why video games are the fastest-growing form of modern entertainment.

If you don’t think video games are also spiritual, you simply haven’t played very many. Video games are rooted in the same myths and archetypes that have shaped us for millennia.

The key difference: video games put the audience in the middle of the action, whether that means blasting armies of alien invaders in Halo Reach or fighting with crooks and your own conscience in Grand Theft Auto IV.

So before you put down the genre, pick up a controller. And click on the radio buttons below to test how much you really know about the spiritual side of video games . . .

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How I learned ‘surrender’ in my German garden

Who does one psychologist see for her own private therapy? Her sunflowers.

BY CATHERINE ANN LOMBARD  — There are times in my life when I know that I am trying too hard. No matter what I seem to do, nothing works, eases forward, sings in tune.

As a gardener in my backyard, I can dig the earth, feed it with the richest manure, insure it has enough calcium, carefully sow the seeds, faithfully water, fuss over the tiniest plants, pull weeds, and even pray.

And still nothing grows. Sometimes I forget about God. Oh yeah, that Guy. He also might have something to say. In fact, his Will might be bigger and beyond what I can imagine can grow in anybody’s garden. In anybody’s heart and soul.

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If this is Saturday, it must be St. Patrick’s Day

The sacred day of the Irish Saint Patrick this year falls on March 17, 2012 but Americans of Irish and noe-Celtic purists will really celebrate in the summer

BY BRIAN CAULFIELD — In the United States many of us will get quite drunk as St. Patrick’s day rolls around once more. But on the last Sunday in July, 15,000 or more pilgrims in Mayo have a very different kind of St. Patrick experience as they climb Croagh Patrick — in their bare feet for 5 miles and a vertical of 1.5 miles.

It may present a Matrix red-pill, blue-pill Sophie’s Choice: Either makes you do a deep-dive of self-reflection and inner discovery  . . . or really just makes you want to have another beer.(Mayo is short for Mayo County, and also the character Richard Gere played in an Officer and a Gentleman)

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