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Dark Souls: a button mashing video game that speaks to the spirit

Play ‘Dark Souls’ and you will die — again and again and again.

From Software’s latest game — released this month — is long. It’s hard. It can be almost painful to play. And it has absolutely enthralled videogamers.

Maybe that’s because, like a great spiritual teacher, this videogame challenges gamers to learn. Only then will a player be rewarded with the next challenge.

If you’re a certain sort of spiritual person all of this might sound familiar — and maybe a little insulting. No one is going to become enlightened by grinding away a this game on their XBox 360 or PlayStation 3.

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In these 2012 times, how do I deal with my personal wealth?

In these 2012 times, how do I deal with my personal wealth?

Michelle (right) with her father and sister by the Muskoka River, Ontario, Canada

Or more accurately, how can I make money and save my soul at the same time?

BY MICHELLE MORRA-CARLISLE – With $100 I can buy a lottery ticket that could win me a car, a big house in the city or a lakeside mansion in cottage country. I can’t afford the ticket, but have been known to buy one anyway because I badly want a lakefront cottage.

How else will I get one except through luck or a miracle? Luck might make it happen, but would it be spiritually enlightening?

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Exclusive book excerpt: “A Time To…”

Exclusive book excerpt: “A Time To…”

A new novel about a baby boomer’s spiritual post-9/11 lessons illustrates that even after the worst tragedies, love, faith, hope and charity survive.

SoulsCode: The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center had a profound impact not only on the world at large, but also on individuals in a solitary way. Some of those individuals have tried to make sense of the tragedy through art. Call it a diamond in the rough or the calm after the storm, but author Ronald Louis Peterson  has found spiritual enlightenment through 9/11.

A novel published on paperback in February, 2011, “A TIME TO… — A Baby Boomer’s Spiritual Adventures Heal 9/11’s Wounds” is dedicated to families who lost loved ones on 9/11, and to those who have called NYC home. Peterson was inspired to write about 9/11 in a very personal way because, he says, “that’s the way most people experienced it.”  

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How to find your voice

How to find your voice

A Danish pop star turned-spiritual-teacher spreads the word of speaking consciously

GUEST COLUMN: SUZANN RYE — I believe that anything is possible. . . that anything you set your heart and mind to achieve, you can. And I believe that we are all born with infinite wisdom. If we don’t get too distracted, if we don’t forget what we know and intuitively feel to be true, we will instinctively understand what to do with our lives, which way to go, and how to fulfill our dreams. Our heart will tell us.

The above is taken from “Little Voice”, a story that I wrote  as part of the best-selling inspirational book, Living in Clarity.

I’m Suzann Rye, author, inspirational speaker, spiritual coach, artist, and voice performance coach, and this is my story. . .

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Remembrance of war past

A Vietnam vet’s journey from a “19 year old hippy kid” to a life coach

GUEST COLUMN: OSCAR TRUITT — When I was drafted into the army in 1969, I was a 19 year-old hippy kid who believed in the concepts of peace and brotherly love.  When I went to Vietnam, I had the idea that I would never shoot my weapon at anyone.

But the first time out in the field, the guy walking behind me was hit by sniper fire.  Everyone started shooting. I did too — to protect him, and the others.

Firing a weapon became an act of group consciousness, not individualism. It was not done from selfishness, but from a concept of brotherly love that I had thought I believed in, but had never understood until that moment.  I discovered that I didn’t know what I believed in, and didn’t know who I was.

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Together at last: sound and meditation

A podcast producer blends mindfulness meditation with her love for sound, to create a new process called “Soundwalking”

GUEST COLUMN: VICTORIA FENNER — A few years ago I took the time to deliberately slow down.   Part of this process involved taking a course on “Mindfulness Meditation” based on the writings and theories of Jon Kabat-Zinn. His books: Wherever You Go, There You AreFull Catastrophe Living; and Coming to Your Senses, (among many others) explain how to apply mindfulness in traditional medical settings for pain management, depression and even relief from psoriasis.

I’ve always liked the idea of meditating, but I have trouble staying still for any length of time.  Shutting down my senses, in particular my hearing, is not easy for me, as I make my living as a radio and podcast producer.   There’s just too much to experience out in the big, wide world. And I like to be on the move. As I came to discover, mindful mediation is a practice I can combine with a process I call “soundwalking” to increase my ability to relax and be immersed in the moment.

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3 faces of laura

How I learned to truly love – myself, that is

A daily practice for accepting yourself and getting over perfectionism. For me, it opened up a whole new world for the very first time

Photos of Laura by Kevin Thom

GUEST COLUMN: LAURA HOLLICK Facing yourself can sometimes be the scariest thing in the world.

It can also be the most liberating!

No one is perfect, and the thought of facing yourself can bring forward all the things that you don’t want to know, or admit about yourself.

Despite this intimidating feeling, facing yourself can also enable you to deepen your ability to love.

When I faced myself with an open ‘heart’, I felt a new world open up. My heart grew stronger, and my sense of inner peace deepened. When I “face” myself with a loving kindness, my inner battle is put to rest.

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The end of desire II: Passage to India

Inspired by female mystics, Pamela Wilson and Neelam, a medical student drops out, has a peak experience in India, and becomes “Nirmala”

(Read the first part of this two-part series)

GUEST COLUMN: NIRMALA — After being in the presence of Pamela and Neelam, I just couldn’t let this desire for Freedom go. I had the sense that there was surgery going on in my chest, like it had been ripped open.

Despite the fact that I absolutely knew there was nothing I could do about it, now that I had admitted I wanted this freedom more than anything, I could never turn back to my old life.

So, I gave my share in our house to my wife and quit medical school.

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How a spiritual teacher learned to let go of his last desire

A man at a crossroads stumbled upon a mind-body technique called the Sedona Method. It spawned leading spiritual teachers and made him one, too

GUEST COLUMN: NIRMALA — In 1997, I was busy attending naturopathic medical school and, I thought, happily married. And then out of the blue my wife told me she was leaving me for another man.

The intensity and types of feelings that surfaced in response were unexpected.

I was aware of feeling equal and opposite feelings: amidst an overwhelming and paralyzing fear was an extreme excitement over all the new possibilities created by the space that had opened up in my life.

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My Mother’s Day journey

How a shamanic teacher overcame her fears of having children

GUEST COLUMN: DAWN DANCING OTTER — Mother’s Day is such a celebration in my family. It brings me to tears every time. I get completely sentimental around the births of my sons because it highlights to me how very much I have been loved, helped, nurtured, and supported in my life.

As a mother, I have come to embrace my beginner’s mind. I gave birth to Gabriel in 1998 during a flurry of confusion, feeling disoriented, in pain, surrendering to others to help me through the process. Having children has helped me truly to understand nature. It is both perfect, and messy, with the opportunity to experience just about anything.

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