Friday, 25. July 2008
Code Of The Maya Kings

Great cities in ruins, lost in the jungles of Central America and Mexico. Who would have built these cities? It would take more than a century and two extraordinary people to uncover the secrets of ancient Maya.

The american John Lloyd Stephens, together with his english companion Frederick Catherwood, enbarked upon the first of two epic voyages to central america in 1839. Facing many dangers and illnesses, they returned from the mysterious land with extraordinary stories and breath taking images from a once great civilization of native americans. One hundread years later, Mayan archaeology had made enormous advances, although the inscriptions that adorn the Mayan ruins had not been completely decyphered. It would be the extraordinary studies of the russian Tatiana Proskouriakoff, a woman in a world of men, that would reveal the true lives of the Maya to the world.

Treasure Seekers: Code of the Maya Kings by National Geographic, 2001
Duration: 52 minutes

Category: Buildings & Places | Movies & TV |

Monday, 21. July 2008
Just let you know …

... Blogging here will be light and irregular for the next few weeks or so.

Unless I get some great stuff along the way, of course.

I'll be in-and-out of town with projects and trips - so stay coooool!

Category: Personal & Private |

Friday, 18. July 2008
Daibutsu - The Great Buddha of Kamakura

A beautiful clip made by Swiss videographer Kedar Misani:

The Great Buddha of Kamakura is a monumental outdoor bronze statue of Amida Buddha in the Kotoku-in Temple in Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. It is believed that the statue was originally cast in 1252, following an idea by the priest Joko, who also collected donations to build it. The sculptors were One-Goroemon and Tanji-Hisatomo. The statue is approximately 13.35m tall and weighs approximately 93 tons. I had the chance to visit the site several times and was always fascinated by its magnitude; many say it is the most perfect image of the original Buddha. Soundtrack by Parichayaka Hamerl.

Just to see is a mediation:

Category: Buildings & Places |

Thursday, 17. July 2008
Fairy Castle

This is the Cinderella drawing room. The floor was made in China years ago and is of rose quartz and jade. The chandelier hanging in the center of the room is gold, hung with real diamonds and emeralds and pearls. To the left you can see a little chess table just waiting for the wee folk to come and play. The painting on the wall is of Cinderella.


This is the bedroom of the prince. This tells the story of the Russian Little Czar, Saltur. The story is carved in the furniture. The polar bear, of course, was shot by the prince. It's really an ermine skin, with a mouse's teeth. The sword standing by the wardrobe is Excalibur, King Arthur's sword.


This is the Princess' Bedroom. The bed is the one that Sleeping Beauty slept in. The bedspread is the gold spider web that covered her for 100 years. The chairs are platinum and set with real diamonds and emeralds. The floor is made of mother of pearl.


Experience the enchantment of a fairy’s dream home in Colleen Moore’s Fairy Castle.

This elaborate miniature house was created by silent film star Colleen Moore in the 1930s, and was donated to the Museum of Science and Industry in 1949.

It will delight you with its tiny treasures—including murals and paintings painted by Walt Disney himself; chandeliers adorned with real diamonds, emeralds and pearls; the tiniest bible ever to be written, dating back to 1840; and ancient statues more than 2,000 years old.

Colleen Moore's Fairy Castle
Category: Fairy Tales & Fables |

Wednesday, 16. July 2008
The Science Of Getting Rich

Timeless wisdom and a practical prosperity program from a forgotten 1910 classic by Wallace D. Wattles.

    "The ownership of money and property comes as a result of doing things in a certain way. Those who do things in this certain way, whether on purpose or accidentally, get rich. Those who do not do things in this certain way, no matter how hard they work or how able they are, remain poor."

    "It is a natural law that like causes always produce like effects. Therefore, any man or woman who learns to do things in this certain way will infallibly get rich."

    Wallace D. Wattles, The Science of Getting Rich, Chapter 2

Wallace Delois Wattles wrote a number of books including Health Through New Thought and Fasting, The Science of Getting Rich, The Science of Being Great, The Science of Being Well, and a novel, Hellfire Harrison, but it is for his prosperity classic, The Science of Getting Rich that he is best known.

Little is known about Wattles' life. He was born in the USA shortly after the civil war, and experienced much failure in his earlier years. Later in his life he took to studying the various religious beliefs and philosophies of the world including those of Descartes, Spinoza, Leibnitz, Schopenhauer, Hegel, Swedenborg, Emerson, and others. It was through his tireless study and experimentation that he discovered the truth of New Thought principles and put them into practice in his own life. He began to write books outlining these principles. He practiced the technique of creative visualisation and as his daughter Florence relates, "He wrote almost constantly. It was then that he formed his mental picture. He saw himself as a successful writer, a personality of power, an advancing man, and he began to work toward the realization of this vision. He lived every page ... His life was truly the powerful life."

The Science Of Getting Rich - Quotes:

Keep yourself focused and get your free copy of this small book right here:
The Science of Getting Rich (PDF).

The file is 80 pages total and is designed to be printed as a normal book — front and back of the pages (40 sheets).
Category: Books & Magazines | Philosophy & Metaphysic |

Tuesday, 15. July 2008
Out-of-body Experiences and other Tricks of Consciousness

All In The Mind, presented by Natasha Mitchell, is ABC Radio National's weekly foray into the mental universe, the mind, brain and behaviour - everything from addiction to artificial intelligence.


There was a very interesting radio show two weeks ago:
Brain hijinks: out-of-body experiences and other tricks of consciousness

What happens when your brain sees the world not as it really is? This week, the scientific effort to simulate out-of-body experiences to probe the limits of the self. And, remarkable stories of vision gone heywire - what they reveal about our 'seeing brain'. Two scientists join Natasha Mitchell with extraordinary insights into how your brain creates your mind.

The guests are:

  • Professor Olaf Blanke, Director Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience (LNCO) and the Neural Correlates of Self Consciousness.
    Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology)

    Olaf Blanke from Lausanne is using Virtual Reality to induce OBE-like feelings in healthy people. As a neurologist his preoperative examination (with direct electrodes) of the brains of people with epilepsy has also induced extraordinary OBEs in patients. Unhinging experiences to say the least.

  • Professor Melvyn Goodale, Director Neuroscience - University of Western Ontario, Canada

    Melvyn Goodale from Ontario is a world leader on the neuroscience of vision and he'll tell us about the unusual experience of a woman called D.F, and what she's revealed to him about the mechanics and evolution of vision.

Tune in right here!
"Brain Hijinks: Out-of-body Experiences and other Tricks of Consciousness"
Duration 30 minutes

You may also like the transcript.

Related Entry:
Experiment of Out-of-Body Experiences
Category: Meditation & Mind | Music & Voices |

Monday, 14. July 2008
Are Your Thoughts Killing You?

Are you aware of the thoughts that are detrimental to your health, your relationships and your achievements?

Do you know how to create the life you desire?

We all have this amazing centre of power - "Our Mind" - to use to create the good life we desire.

Most people do not know how to use it wisely.

This is why for some people life is a real struggle, while for others life flows smoothly. Why do you think this is?

Everything in life starts with Thought!

Negative; contaminating; destructive; weak and scattered thinking produces negative results...

While positive; uplifting; contributory thinking produces peaceful, positive solutions and outcomes...

When you can control and direct your thoughts, then you will be able to control your circumstances.

Are you in control of your mind or is your mind controlling you?

To be the master of our own mind is the first spiritual law. Everyone seems to be concerned about what they put into their material house, how they decorate it and who they entertain in it. Yet they let their mind loose, to think what it wants to think with absolutely No Control.

If you do not take responsibility to feed your brain with positivity, it will feed itself from the television, newspapers, gossip columns, or from negative people.


The minds job is to think and it doesn't filter what it thinks, that is our responsibility.

Do you think before you speak?

Once a word is spoken it cannot be retrieved; the damage is done.

Thoughts are real forces. What does that statement mean to you?

Read more ...
Category: Articles & Essays | Meditation & Mind |

Sunday, 13. July 2008

The discovery that everything is made from atoms has been referred to - with a strong claim - as the greatest scientific breakthrough in history. As scientists delved deep into the atom, they abandoned traditional beliefs, leading to a whole new science which still underpins modern physics, chemistry and biology. Upset everything we thought we knew about reality and maybe even life itself.

Even today as we peer deeper and deeper into the atom, it throws back at us as many questions as it answers.

In this three-part documentary series - first aired on BBC Four, 2007 - nuclear physicist Professor Jim Al-Khalili tells the story of this discovery and the brilliant minds behind the breakthrough.

In part one, Professor Al-Khalili takes us from the discovery of the atom to the development of quantum mechanics and looks how the discovery affected the scientific world.

Atom - The Clash of the Titans - Part 1 - 58 minutes.

In the second episode, Professor Jim Al-Khalili shows how, in our quest to understand the tiny atom, we unravelled the mystery of how the universe was created - a story with dramatic twists and turns, taking in world-changing discoveries like radioactivity, the atom bomb and the Big Bang. He tries to answer the biggest questions of all - why are we here and how were we made?

Atom - The Key to the Cosmos - Part 2 - 58 minutes.

In the final part, Professor Jim Al-Khalili explores how studying the atom forced us to rethink the nature of reality itself, discovers how there might be parallel universes in which different versions of us exist and finds out that 'empty' space isn't empty at all. He shows how the world we think we know turns out to be a tiny sliver of an infinitely weirder universe than which we could have conceived. Our reality is just an illusion!

Atom - The Illusion of Reality - Part 3 - 58 minutes.

Category: Energy & Light | Movies & TV | Philosophy & Metaphysic |

Saturday, 12. July 2008
Theology in Stone


Thinking about church architecture has come to an impasse. Reformers and traditionalists are talking past each other. Statements from both sides are often strident and dogmatic. In Theology in Stone, Richard Kieckhefer seeks to help both sides move beyond the standoff toward a fruitful conversation about houses of worship. Drawing on a wide range of historical examples with an eye to their contemporary relevance, he offers refreshing new ideas about the meanings and uses of church architecture.

Kieckhefer begins with four chapters on the basic elements of church architecture-the overall arrangement of space, the use of an altar or pulpit as a centering focus, the aesthetics of church design, and the functions of sacred symbols.

He goes on to offer three extended historical studies, dealing with churches of medieval England, revival-style churches of America, and modern churches of twentieth-century Germany. Drawing on these case studies, he concludes with a vision of a new theology of church architecture--historically grounded, yet framed for our own time.

Theology in Stone by Richard Kieckhefer
Oxford University Press, 2004 | 390 pages | PDF | 3.4 MB

Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome, interior. Engraving from Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Vedute di Roma.
Category: Books & Magazines | Buildings & Places |

Friday, 11. July 2008
Lisa Thiel

Lisa Thiel is a visionary artist and ceremonial singer whose healing song prayers and chants are among the most popular in the women's spiritual movement today.

Originally a holistic healing professional in Los Angeles, California, Lisa began creating her music as an expression of and as a vehicle for her own process of personal growth and transformation. Her spiritual path led her to study many of the world's spiritual traditions and her teachers were yogis, shamans, Tibetan Lamas and wise women of the Goddess tradition.

The connecting thread throughout was the practice of sacred song for healing and empowerment, and an emphasis on the Sacred Feminine found in all traditions in one form or another.

Lisa's songs literally are shamanic healing (medicine) songs - a vital, authentic music that resonates with the energy of her experiences.


Sacred Ancestors' Chant:

Sacred ancestors come to me
Sacred ancestors who love me
Sacred ancestors come to me
Sacred ancestors, please help me

All my mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters
and relations too
Who had love me for always
I keep the light for you

From the CD "Invocation Of The Graces" (2001).

Acchi Mantra (Chant):

The lyric is a mantra to the Goddess Acchi. It goes:

Om Sarva Buddha Dakini Hri Mama Sakta Soha.

It's from Lisa Thiel's CD "Journey to the Goddess" (1995).

Daughter of the Elements:

Daughter of the elements
Daughter of the rain
Daughter of the thunder
Daughter of the flame

Daughter of the dawn
And daughter of the light
Daughter of the stars
And daughter of the night

Daughter of the earth
And daughter of the trees
Daughter of the storms
And daughter of the breeze

Daughter of the moon
And daughter of the seas
Daughter of the winds
And daughter of the leaves

I am the elements
I am the rain
I am the thunder
I am the flame

I am the dawn
I am the light
I am the stars
I am the night

I am the earth
I am the trees
I am the storms
I am the breeze

I am the moon
I am the seas
I am the winds
I am the leaves

I am the elements

From the CD "Invocation Of The Graces" (2001).

Winter Solstice Song (Yule):

Enter the night and you'll find the light,
That will carry you to your dreams.
Enter the night, let your spirit take flight,
In the field of infinite possibilities

On the longest night we search for the light,
And we find it deep within.
Open your eyes to embrace what is wise,
And see the light of your own soul shining.

Wrap up in the cloak of starry darkness my child,
And you'll find the center of all things.
For from this space of the deepest dark place,
Life Eternal does spring.

So when you find that spark
When you dream in the dark,
Hold it close to your heart and know.
All that you see is all that can be
When you give birth to the dreams of your soul.

From the CD "Circle Of The Seasons" (2005).

Category: Music & Voices |

Thursday, 10. July 2008
Nighttime Yoga

This is a very calming relaxing yoga routine one could use at night before going to bed. Enjoy the 15 min yoga routine by Deborah York:

More Yoga Sequences at AskTheYogaExpert.

Category: Yoga & Fitness |

Tuesday, 08. July 2008
Meditation Through Dance

Dance as liturgy or ritual has always been a way to honor the sacred, the mystery, turning into the spiral of life and the universal, the ever-present flow of the Divine force. It has profound implications for healing, psychotherapy, spiritual growth, and the full unfolding of human potential. Sacred dance can be done by anyone and in any mode. It may be part of an ancient tradition or may emanate in the moment. It can range from simple walking steps in a circle to elaborately costumed processionals. When you can let go, the natural flow of energy dances you. It opens up the channels of the body to clear away old emotional blockages, belief systems that no longer serve, and memories the body has held onto long after their usefulness disappeared. We allow life to dance us again.

Bringing Sacred Dance Back to Life

In dance as ritual, our learning mode is reversed and the mind learns from the body. Dance is not only Language, it is also "listening." Listen to the sounds of the waves within you. Consciousness uses the power of listening to come into the being. As the skill of listening grows, consciousness expands; searching for our essence, what is truly us, our true self, we begin realizing on deeper and deeper levels that we are all the same. Dance integrates meditation and action, dissolving the barrier between contemplation and everyday life, garnering the energies of ruach, the breath of God.

Whether you dance in your own room, in a class or group, or before supportive spectators, you will come to feel and emanate a sense of oneness with the group, the audience, the world, and with humanity. Now you become the creator of your own dance, your own movement, the energizer of your own body, your own world, and the molder of your own destiny.

Freeing ourselves to refocus inwardly and in community allows us to see who we are, and so this will be a complex but at the same time a simplified process of self-discovery.

'Dancer on Stage' by Edgar Degas; Musee d'Orsay

In the beginning we will find many voices within us that are unknown, repressed, afraid to speak, and unaccustomed to spontaneous and direct expression. We will literally be using dance as a bridge between consciousness and the psyche. Through dance we tap into the body's unconscious memories, layer by layer. Then the healing begins. As we continue our discipline of movement and image dialogues, poetic and private insights emerge through relaxed and spontaneous expression to show us the way.

Creating Your Sacred Dance

The stage, the altar, the studio -- whatever space you designate -- is the sacred dancing ground, and the dancing time is time out of ordinary time. The dancers enter consciously, sensing the difference between the busy outside world and the dedicated dance space. This is the hallowed ground, dedicated to and ruled by forces that are not personal, not individualistic.

After one enters the sacred space there is, ideally, a period of quieting down. Physiologically, you might start with deep, slow breathing, bringing scattered thoughts to a still, introverted point of focus.

Here are some keys that will help your dance become more meaningful for you, which I derived in part from my work with the Dances of Universal Peace. Even one or two of these techniques will have quite a profound effect.

Read more ...
Category: Articles & Essays | Body & Health |

Tonight’s Sky: July 2008


Grab a telescope, binoculars or just a lawn chair and head out to the backyard for a night of cosmic sightseeing. Our monthly stargazing guide keeps you informed about constellations, deep sky objects, planets, and events.

Tonight's Sky - highlights of the July sky 2008.
Note: All shows take place from the vantage of the Northern Hemisphere.

Jupiter nears Earth, showing off its many moons!

Category: Astrology & Astronomy |

Sunday, 06. July 2008
Sacred Weeds - Salvia Divinorum

Sacred Weeds was a four part television series of 50 minute documentaries investigating the cultural impact of psychoactive plants on a broad array of early civilisations.
This is part two: Salvia Divinorum

Salvia divinorum, also known as Diviner’s Sage, aka María Pastora, Sage of the Seers, or simply by the genus name, Salvia, is a powerful psychoactive herb.

It has a long continuing tradition of use as an entheogen by indigenous Mazatec shamans, who use it to facilitate visionary states of consciousness during spiritual healing sessions. It was first recorded in print by Jean Basset Johnson in 1939 as he was studying Mazatec shamanism. He later documented its usage and reported its effects through personal testimonials. It was not until the 1990s that the psychoactive mechanism was identified by a team led by Daniel Siebert.

Each episode began and ended with Dr Andrew Sherratt inscribing his diary with his reflections on the series' scientific and cultural investigations. In each episode the series investigated one psychoactive plant and its cultural significance. Three specialists of various scientific disciplines were invited to monitor two volunteers who had taken each plant. After the four episodes, Sherratt assigned considerably more significance to the psychoactive properties of plants in ancient civilization and the prehistoric period than expert knowledge hitherto.

The scientists in this part:
  • Dr Françoise Barbira-Freedman, medical anthropologist and lecturer at the University of Cambridge
  • Dr Tim Kendall, psychiatrist and director of the Centre for Psychotherapeutic Studies
  • Dr Jon Robbins, pharmacologist at King's College London

    and the volunteers: Daniel Siebert and Sean Thomas

Sacred Weeds - Salvia Divinorum by Channel 4, 1998
Runtime: 68 minutes

You may also like:
Daniel Siebert's website:
The Salvia divinorum Research and Information Center

Salvia divinorum Scotland: Salvia Menu

Related Entry:
Sacred Weeds - Henbane
Category: Lunacy & Psychedelic | Movies & TV |

Saturday, 05. July 2008
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

Feng shui, magnet therapy, polarity therapy, qigong, reiki, therapeutic touch - what do they have in common? They are all "subtle energy practices," just one section in this wide-ranging encyclopedia.

Others include skeletal manipulation methods, mind/body medicine, sensory therapies, massage (from infant massage to myofascial trigger point therapy), movement therapy, somatic practices, and body-oriented psychotherapies. Editor Allison defines a body-mind discipline as "an organized program of activity that seeks to awaken and activate the links between body, mind, and spirit."

This very well arranged text is divided into 16 sections, each of which begins with an introductory essay discussing the disciplines included in that section. Each discipline is described by a certified practitioner in terms of history, basic principles, and potential benefits and risks. Short resource/reading lists follow each discipline description.


Allison, a dancer and educator, has done an excellent job of pulling together information on some 125 therapies. Whether you want to know about brain gym or just plain old yoga, this encyclopedia is a great starting point.

Written by over 125 experts in their respective fields, the lavishly-illustrated encyclopedia includes boxed insets highlighting important facts about each discipline, annotated resource lists, and sources for further reading.

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines by Nancy Allison, editor.
Rosen Publishing Group, 1999 | 448 pages | PDF | 10.3 MB

Traditional shamanic practices in Comalapa, Guatemala.
Category: Body & Health | Books & Magazines |

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