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Does the world of spirituality need to lose the jargon?

When an accountant goes spiritual, he learns a whole new code: “Presence? But it’s not my birthday”

GUEST COLUMN: TIM TAYLOR —  Spirituality is pretty cool, isn’t it? It’s something that we each really want to share with our friends and family.  We want them to enjoy many of the benefits that make us high.

I grew up in Indiana and went to Wharton Business School because I wanted to be a Chief Financial Officer. After 15 years of working as a consultant and controller I knew there had to be more to life.

My therapist recommended The Wisdom of No Escape . . .and everything started to change. Not overnight, but inexorably, kind of like St. Francis when he turned back from his first night’s ride as a would-be knight to join the Fourth Crusade.

I stepped into the world of spirituality, and what I remember most was learning a whole new way of speaking that was confusing. I heard a language that was English but nothing short of Sanskrit to me.

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How I silence my mind in a hectic world

“Every emotion you go through in this rat-race life, I am going through, too”

GUEST COLUMN: NICK RALLS — I try to find love and peace in the everyday world while in the midst of the rat race.  I often reflect on how it might be easier to cut the world off but I know that love is in my heart and that I can find what I am looking for.

Today, I reflected on how easy it is to be peaceful, loving and harmoniousin short, divine when living in a cocoon, in a monastic or spiritual retreat, away from the strains and stresses of reality.

But it can be a hard job when you are in the throes of modern life, with people coming at you . . . demands, money problems, communication challenges and not always being the person you imagine yourself to be.

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March 25 – 31, 2009: The Great Peace Bed-In

On the 40th anniversary of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s 1969 bed-in, thousands will lie down to give peace a chance

GUEST COLUMN: PIPPA BARTOLOTTI — Have you ever really thought about what you can do for peace?

Many thousands of people are prepared to click an icon and join a peace group.

For instance, on Facebook I am inundated with prayers, mantras, and with blessings, words of love and incantations, but that is not enough for me. I believe that peace has to be worked for.

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What is your dosha?

Ayurvedic medicine made Deepak Chopra rich and famous. It can make your next spa visit an exercise in deep healing

GUEST COLUMN: ALAN ANNAND — You may have heard about Ayurveda, and wondered what it is.  Ayurveda is a holistic system of medicine that has been practiced in India for over 5,000 years.

Literally, the word Ayurveda means “knowledge of life,” and its practice constitutes a science of routines and remedies designed to foster and maintain optimum health.

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Is your ‘essence of being’ the same thing as your ‘inner child’?

The Indian poet Nachi Ma’s view of a child’s wisdom isn’t the street-smarts in Slumdog Millionaire.  It’s a theory of consciousness

SPECIAL TO SOUL’S CODE: NACHI MA — I feel that there is lot of wisdom rooted in childhood that is ignored, or not recognized because we never assume or look that way.

When a child is probing us with open, transparent eyes perhaps he is not looking at us from mere innocence perhaps there is something more there.

Maybe we need to look at it not in relation of being an adult to child but with an inquisitive mind to let the beauty and truth inside a child be revealed to us.

This poem is about the child in us all . . . the inner child that we carry . . . no matter what our age.

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From sinner to saint: My beginner’s mind

“Work was my compulsion; the admiration of others, my addiction. Taking back my life was a labor of love”

DATELINE, British Columbia: DAWN DANCING OTTER — I was raised a Christian. My family, for many generations (so far as I know) has been Christian of one denomination or another. When I was a child, I loved God with a child’s conviction. I was fairly certain that God was an old man, kind of an angry one, with a beard, who lived in the sky. I would pray to the old man every night and sometimes all day long. . . please help me, I feel alone, God.

I wanted God’s approval SO badly. There was literally no way to receive it, though, because I was told I was already a sinner.

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Why 2008 was spiritually great

A piece of you: Soul’s Code readers report a year’s worth of their spiritual highs

SOUL’S CODE — The late, great 2008 was a perfect storm for pessimists. They glommed onto the fact that it was the worst year for the stock market since The Great Depression ($7 trillion vaporized). And rightfully mourned the bombing into oblivion of thousands during ‘surges’ in Iraq, Gaza and Georgia. On top of that, the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (left, with Mia Farrow, 3 Beatles and a Beach Boy),  Arthur C. Clarke and Alexander Solzhenitsyn died.

Those negative notes didn’t faze the spirit of Soul’s Code readers and writers, though. We embraced a glass half-full openness to adventure.

Thank you for giving us your spiritual highs of the past year. We call them peak experiences. You call them whatever you like: they are miracles of your own making.

From Sweden to South Africa, may these 12 first-person accounts help inspire the time you have in 2009:

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Laura Hollick explains her spiritual definition of physical beauty

“Before I learned how to know who I am from the inside-out, I thought I needed to become a model to be beautiful.”

GUEST COLUMN: LAURA HOLLICK — “People feel ugly when they look at beauty magazines.” 

I heard this saying and I thought it was ironic. . . Have you ever felt that way? Have you ever compared yourself to someone in a magazine and felt like you didn’t measure up, or have you thought, “if I just change these things about myself then I’ll be beautiful”?

I’d like to share a story with you about my quest to understand beauty. . .

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Forgiving the Unforgivable

I was filled with pain and hate over a brutal crime. My path to freedom began with meditation, and ended at a Texas prison

BY TOM HUDGENS, episode 1 (of 5) — Thirty years ago a man named John Black* raped and murdered my sister. In May, I visited him in prison and told him that I forgave him.

The realization that I could actually do such a thing came unbidden. It wasn’t something I struggled to attain. I just looked one day and there it was: my own voice saying, “You can forgive him.” That voice spoke to me often. Eventually, I acted upon it.

Three years ago, after a miserable year in a career that I loved in theory but not in practice, I was struck with the idea of attending a meditation retreat. I typed “silent meditation retreat” into a search engine, and discovered Spirit Rock Meditation Center, located on 400 acres in Marin County, California.

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Forgiving the Unforgivable: Readying my heart to meet my sister’s murderer

I made a commitment to a spiritual practice before facing my “enemy”

BY TOM HUDGENS, episode 2 (of 5) — “John Black is very eager for this meeting.”

That was the short and simple email I received from Rick Warr, a mediator with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice who was arranging for me to meet John Black,* the man serving a life sentence for raping and murdering my sister 30 years ago.

Why was he eager? I wondered. What did he think would happen?

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