Tag Archives: shamanism

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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What is Ibogaine, and why does Charlie Sheen’s ex want to do it?

What is Ibogaine, and why does Charlie Sheen’s ex want to do it?

A hallucinogen long used in shamanic and spiritual practices, Ibogaine is a non-pharma prescription for addiction

BY SOUL’S CODE — Brooke Mueller is the ex-wife of Charlie Sheen who called 911 a couple of Christmas holidays ago in Aspen claiming that the Two and a Half Men star he was threatening her with a knife (listen to the tape here). Since then, they have both done revolving doors through rehab — and Mueller’s latest attempts and failures at sobriety are a highlight reel on Paris Hilton’s new reality TV show on the Oxygen network.

Mueller’s latest stab at AA-style 12 Steps has apparently failed again, and the gossip site TMZ reports that she made plans to fly to Cancun to undergo Ibogaine therapy.

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The shaman origin of your spa’s sauna

The sauna is a Finnish, warlock thing. To prove it, I skinny-dipped through a hole in the ice of Lake Superior

BY PAUL KAIHLA — I spent the afternoon breaking trail through the great boreal forest on the north shore of Lake Superior on cross-country skis made of hickory with my host, Olli. We had a novice tagging along, who couldn’t quite get the swing of it.

A Finnish engineer who has two adult children, a happy marriage and a wry sense of humor, Olli offered our tag-along adventurer mock comfort about the learning curve she faced with nordic skiing: “Don’t worry,” he quipped, “the first 10 years are the hardest.”

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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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No (Criss) Angel and Demons

Vegas TV magician claims tarot and divination are not in the cards for him as “Mindfreak” blasts psychics

GUEST COLUMN: DANNY KENNY — In a CNN interview, Criss Sarantakos (a.k.a Angel) told Larry King, “no one has the ability, that I’m aware of, to do anything supernatural, psychic, talk to the dead. And if somebody claims to have supernatural psychic ability, I’m going to bust [him] live and on television.”

Ironically, Criss is Greek, and the word psychic also seems Greek to him (from the Greek psychikos—“of the soul, mental”) as it refers to an alleged ability to perceive information hidden from the normal senses through extrasensory perception, or to people who claim to possess such abilities.

Criss, like most great stage magicians, is a master of misdirection, so let me redirect you for a moment to one very key word in there. . .

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garden of eden

Meet the next Carlos Castaneda

Tony Samara’s code for a daily spiritual dose: selfless service and treating your body as a temple

Tony Samara, founder of the eponymous, non-profit organization, The Samara Foundation for the Evolution of Human Consciousness, lived for several years in a Zen Buddhist monastery.

After leaving the monastery, Tony traveled to the jungles of the Amazon and the Andes, where he lived and studied among a community of shamans.

Soul’s Code: What secrets did you learn from the healers and holy men?

Tony: I worked with many shamans in the jungles and mountains of South America. It is difficult to put into words all the learnings, but one could summarize the essence as being a profound respect for nature and its inherent cycles that help sustain life. That humans can utilize nature to enhance their joy, gives this realm meaning.

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The art of being

Claire Elek’s paintings have names like, “The Hero’s Journey into the Bone Forest.” In a Soul’s Code exclusive, Elek reveals her own heroine’s path of self-discovery

The color-infused canvases of Toronto-based artist, Claire Elek, will float you into a world resplendent with dreamy, mythical images.

She has the depth of a spiritual teacher when talking about shamanism, Jungian theology and female archetypes — and not surprisingly, they are powerful influences in her paintings.

A catalyst for Elek’s highly-collectible art (one of her drawings is owned by Canadian author Margaret Atwood) were her Gauguin-like travels through South America and Southeast Asia.

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The Golden Compass: A Christmas movie scandal

The Golden Compass: A Christmas movie scandal

Why New Line Cinema and Warner glossed over the dark side of Philip Pullman’s trilogy

BY PAUL KAIHLA —  The $180-million Hollywood blockbuster opened Hollywood’s 2007 Christmas season with the marketing slogan: “One small child can save the world.”

But the book it’s based on, the first in a fantasy trilogy called His Dark Materials, was released in 1996 with a slightly more sinister air.

The author, a stuffy 61-year-old Brit named Philip Pullman, is a celebrated anti-Christian crusader. The heroine in His Dark Materials, for example, is not on a mission from God but allied with forces out to kill God.

As the Atlantic Monthly lays out in an exhaustive exposé in its December issue, the Time Warner studio that’s releasing this film, New Line Cinema, scrubbed all of the anti-religious references from the script  — and sanitized it for all of the bible-thumpers in America.

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