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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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Meditation lite

Meditation lite

They say that meditation is sitting on a cushion and emptying your mind. But I do mine while I’m, like, shopping

BY DAVID RICKEY  — I know it doesn’t come as a surprise to say that meditation is important for spiritual growth. The post-modern philosopher Ken Wilbur claims that it is the quickest way to advance the evolution of consciousness.

But it might come as a surprise that I myself — a psychotherapist and Episcopal priest who has devoted a lifetime to spiritual development — do not meditate.

At least, I do not meditate in any classic way. I could tell you, “I don’t have the time.” But in the tradition of confession, here is mine: I have never had much discipline.

So, I have a form of meditation that takes no real time and requires only a smidgen of discipline.

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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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What do men really want from a woman?

What do men really want from a woman?

Truths my father told me: what men love in women are the same qualities that they seek in themselves

BY MICA AKULLIAN — I was blessed with a father who taught me that a man is what you make him.

My father was the kind of guy who cried when he was in pain, spoke out when he was feeling sad or angry, danced like a pink flamingo in a room full of metaphorical seagulls, and loved unabashedly all those things which moved his heart.

For my father, answering the call of what people in spiritual circles call ‘the divine feminine’ took all his courage — and rendered making meaningful friendships with other Baby Boomer men in the suburbs of central California distinctly difficult.  He found himself searching for water in a parched desert, and while his life was cut too short (he died before his time at 45), he passed a proverbial torch to me.

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Danny Dreyer: How I invented Chi Running

Danny Dreyer: How I invented Chi Running

Exclusive: How I connected my mind and body — and got both back on track

BY DANNY DREYER  — My long run is my favorite run of the week. It’s a time when I get to do some of my favorite things: slow down, take in the beauty of nature, socialize with friends, and just enjoy being alive.

I didn’t always feel that way about long runs, though. Even after years of training, my knees always hurt after 10 miles. My  wake-up call came in 1991, when I began running ultramarathons. The pain in my joints was unbearable.

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Swan dive from above

Hypnosis in a bathing suit

The California retreat, Harbin Hot Springs, invented a powerful form of deep trance work variously called watsu and water dance

BY PAUL KAIHLA — I first heard of watsu when I went to Harbin Hot Springs with an ex because of its rep for having the best mineral baths north of San Francisco. We were surprised to discover that the place was actually a New Age hangout.

When my significant-other saw people in a pool doing what we later learned was watsu, she almost sounded like a socialite encountering lepers — “Ewww, who are those people?”

At first glance, it did look somewhat sideways: What seemed like a bunch of aging hippies in the nude, paired up and cradling each other as if they were attempting some kind of re-birthing exercise.

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How Sacred Contracts author Caroline Myss guided a Soul’s Code reader

How Sacred Contracts author Caroline Myss guided a Soul’s Code reader

“Before she was famous, a mystical neighbor changed my life”

BY ELLEN FENNER — We all have a moment we can look back on and see divine intervention that we didn’t necessarily recognize at the time. For me it was the day an angel (see photo) sat me down at her kitchen table and fed my starving soul.

In the spring of 1984, I returned home from my second year at college completely dejected. I had lost control of everything I’d ever imagined myself to have any control over. When I decided not to go back the next year, I gave up a full-tuition scholarship and set myself adrift.

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destruct

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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NuSkin

New Age ‘No-tox’

People on a spiritual path who aren’t into Botox still care about beauty. Soul’s Code samples new non-invasive technologies

Those who seek an inner-sense of knowing want to cleanse their tissue with yoga, organic foods and fasts — not inject it with a paralytic, neuro-toxin derived from botulism (one microgram of the stuff Botox is made from is lethal to humans). But many still want to look good, naked and otherwise.

Entrepreneurs are targeting this cross-over audience with launches of alternative skin technologies. These products haven’t hit the mainstream but are making the rounds at alternative health conferences; Soul’s Code checked out a few at the Conscious Life Expo — an annual mega-show at LAX that attracts tens of thousands of visitors:

SkinDream TITANIUM looks like a hand-held shower nozzle, and uses low-frequency sound waves (ultra-sound) to stimulate your skin — and “restore your natural beauty”Soul’s Code guinea pig: Was told that after a 10-minute glazing with the nozzle that the redness would be replaced with radiance; there was no visible change.

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