Authors Posts by Christina Sarich

Christina Sarich

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Christina Sarich is a musician, yogi, humanitarian and freelance writer who channels many hours of studying Lao Tzu, Paramahansa Yogananda, Rob Brezny, Miles Davis, and Tom Robbins into interesting tidbits to help you Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and *See the Big Picture*. Her blog is Yoga for the New World . Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing The Body And Mind Through The Art Of Yoga.

The shunning of feelings, especially in Westernized culture, has left a deep scar in our psyches. Some of the most profound therapy for the spirit comes from truly experiencing our emotions, so how do we heal when we simply can’t feel?

Ironically, to ‘shun’ our feelings leaves our ‘shen’ wounded. Shen is what the ancient Chinese called the spark of the divine within us. Shen manifests in many ways including the ability to forgive, show compassion, appreciate beauty, and have mercy for others, but we are taught from a very young age that our feelings are ‘bad’ or ‘wrong,’ and then spend a lifetime wondering why we suffer from ailments as varied as cancer or rheumatoid arthritis.

E-motion is energy that cannot move. It is trapped. It is this stagnation that is thought to cause disease. When we feel an emotion we are actually feeling the movement of energy through our bodies. Our refusal to feel means that we biochemically and biophysically halt energetic freedom.

Science is still trying to catch up with ancient philosophies which understood how important ‘feelings’ actually are to our overall physical and mental well-being. We just now are starting to draw the correlations between certain pains in the body and their correspondence to unfelt feelings.

A woman who was once suicidal until she learned to truly feel her feelings has these four questions you can ask yourself to help you get unstuck from feelings that are difficult to experience:

1. Is it true?
2. Can you absolutely know that it’s true?
3. How does it make you feel when you think the thought (…..)?
4. Who would you be without the thought (….)?

Energy in Motion = Emotion

Socrates understood that energy is separate from matter as we have conventionally defined it. The Universe is made up of oscillating, moving, swirling energy, and so are you. This energy was present long before the earth ever formed.

Since your body is nothing more than an amalgamation of energy vibrating at a certain velocity, then you can understand how stagnant emotion or energy would cause the ‘water to dirty’ in the clear pool of

our divine being.

“It’s not something you can say in 25 words or less. It is a whole new paradigm shift that basically leads you to realize you’re not alone. You are connected to everybody else. Your emotions are key. And you are leaving a wake, changing the world around you in a huge way.” ~ Candice Pert

In fact, unconscious emotion – that is the energy we have ‘frozen’ within our bodies, is usually ruling us. Anger, fear, hatred, lust, greed, cowardice, hurt, sadness, etc. are not inherently ‘bad,’ but if they are not felt fully when experienced we usually form unconscious habits surrounding those emotions which then eventually manifest as disease.

Bruce Lipton, and other researchers, including Russian cosmonauts learned that feelings trigger the release of tiny neuropeptides (NPs). These are absolutely critical for metabolic functioning. NPs are responsible for regulating hundreds of different functions, including the release of hormones in the body.

Still other researchers, including Candice Pert, a Chief Scientist of brain biochemistry at the National Institutes of Health, determined that every emotional state carries with it, a specific, identifiable frequency. When we feel ‘positive emotions’ like joy or thankfulness, our neuropeptides tell the body to release endorphins like oxytocin, which make us feel happy – creating a self-fulfilling prophecy-like feedback loop. While feeling negative emotions doesn’t cause an immediate dump of stress hormones, the prolonged presence of these emotions (usually buried in our subconscious) causes all matter of havoc to ensue within the body’s communication systems and hormonal flow.

“As our feelings change, this mixture of peptides travels throughout your body and your brain. They are literally changing the chemistry of every cell in your body.” ~ Candice Pert

Where do Unfelt Feelings Go?

In ancient yogic texts, we learn that unfelt emotions get stored in the body, but where do they go, exactly?

Rejected feelings not only get stored in our physical bodies, they get warehoused in our energetic bodies. When we bump into someone who triggers a feeling of shame, sadness, or hurt, it usually means that they are triggering the memory of an unfelt feeling which has been shunned and placed (temporarily) into our energetic storage locker – the chakra system. Instead of being angry at those people for showing you where your wounds are, you can use their presence as a cue to start feeling some of your old, dusty, discarded feelings.

The more they make you feel ___________ (insert unpleasant feeling) the more the opportunity for healing is present.

The Chakra system is also connected to the physical body, and can be very telling about energy that is stagnant or stored therein.

The lower three chakras, the Root, Sacral and Solar Plexus chakras are ruled by what is called Goddess or Mother Energy and our intuition. They keep us grounded to the earth – our home. The heart chakra in the middle considered the bridge between our base emotions and the higher, spiritual abilities.

The upper three chakras – the throat, third eye, and crown chakras are governed by divine inspiration. All of the chakras are important, and store emotions according to their governance. For instance, if you are a workaholic, and have issues with trust you have stored unfelt emotion in your root or sacral chakras. If you have issues with speaking your truth, or being honest with yourself or others, you likely have stagnant energy in the throat chakra.

Letting the Flood Gates Open

When we meditate, or practice using other spiritual tools, we are really not changing anything about ourselves or our experience. We are already divine beings. What we are doing, is allowing, with love and consciousness, the stored emotion to flow freely again. Once this energy is consciously felt, it no longer has to be rehashed over and over again by the subconscious mind.

From this more conscious place, we can literally change our vibrations, alter our physiology, and be ‘cured’ from every possible ailment imaginable.

To heal, we must feel, and from this profound place of peace, we return to our wholeness.

Featured image source: ConsciousLifestyleMag.com

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Jack Beanstalk copyThe Romanian philosopher Eliade once said that it is difficult to assimilate the experience of ecstatic ascension into higher consciousness without burying it into stories of the mundane. Shamans and sages around the world have their ways of communicating the divine, but most of us don’t think to look in places like children’s stories for descriptions of the ecstatic journey. Take the story of Jack and his Bean Stalk – a Georgian fairy tale replete with shamanic wisdom.

First appearing prominently in the 1700s as the story of Jack Spriggins and the Enchanted Beanstalk, but with much more ancient wisdom oozing from its pages, this yarn compels the reader to go on a mystical journey which begins with mundane beginnings – just a few ’magic’ beans that Jack manages to get his hands on by selling a sheep, his  poor, widowed mother’s only source of income. Instead of selling the sheep’s wool at market, the boy instead meets an old man magician who convinces him to part with his sheep in exchange for a few beans.  Jack makes it home to his mother, who is obviously bereft at his foolish choice, sends him to bed without dinner, and throws the bean outside on the ground, thinking she has disposed of them.

Overnight, a colossal beanstalk has grown. Jack climbs the stalk sprouted from his magic beans to find an enormous castle, which ends up being the home of a giant. There are multiple versions of the story, but in each, Jack snoops around the castle while the giant is sleeping and manages to climb back down with loot he has stolen – in one rendition of the story it is a goose that lays golden eggs, in others Jack makes off with gold coins.

The important point is that Jack goes on a mystical journey after meeting a shaman, who offers him a portal to the land of giants, whereupon he faces certain death. “Fee-fi-fo-fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman, Be he alive, or be he dead, I’ll grind his bones to make my bread,” the story relates. Once Jack escapes with his life, and his boon, he cuts the beanstalk down and he and his mother live a life altered by wealth gained from Jack’s journey.

Giving up Material Wealth for Greater Spiritual Wealth

This is the classic shamanic journey of ascension. An element of the sacred enters our world – usually through a meditative state, or an initiation by someone who has gained a higher level of consciousness than our own. In this case, an old man approaches Jack to offer him a ‘journey’ that can only be created when Jack imprudently takes some tiny beans in exchange for his mother’s only material wealth. Many shamans and sages choose whom they offer their skills to, for not everyone is willing to enter other worlds, or are even able to since they have closed or egoic minds, clinging to the tiny scraps of material existence that they mistakenly believe are all that exist.

The Spirit World

When Jack enters the land of the giants, he enters the spirit world. It is here that he experiences things which are not ‘real’ in his every-day life. Though Jack gains material wealth through his journeying in this particular version of the story, there are many boons awaiting those who travel in this altered reality – greater energy, love, compassion, and power – indeed even richness – that we cannot access in this world alone. In the altered reality we usually have to face our fears, or a deep, unconsciously held belief that would prohibit from manifesting such a boon presently.

Returning Home

At the end of every shamanic journey the traveler returns to his original world, but with an altered experience of it, knowing what other worlds are open to him or her, and taking with them, the elevated consciousness which that ‘journey’ bestowed upon them. As in the Campbellian journey, the traveler then shares his wealth with others who are able to open their minds too. In this case, it is simply Jack’s mother who partakes of Jack’s newfound wealth, but in other shamanic tales, a wealth of compassion or power is shared with entire villages, one’s family, or the world at large.

Interestingly, in the long history of shamanism, most shamans are initiated through a near-death experience. Others, in modern ages, lose all their worldly wealth, and are near self-destruction before they gain a glimpse into alternate realities which allow them to function more fully in this world. A shaman may not look like what we expect. In this story of Jack and the Beanstalk, an old man at the market – someone who might blend into the experience of the common man in the 1720s – is the shaman who brings Jack his journey to regain what his soul lost.

30,000 Year Old Jack and the Beanstalk Stories

The most ‘primitive’ cultures have laid groundwork for us to take similar journeys ourselves. Cave art dating back more than 30,000 years depicts stories just Jack’s – of magical ritualistic rites which were presented to take people beyond their mundane experience, into an experience of the divine. The word ‘shaman’ originates from Sanskrit, meaning ‘ascetic,’ but specifically it refers to the holy men and women who might approach us when we least expect it to offer us some magic. If we’re smart, we’ll take the beans.

Image credit: deviantart.net

Featured image copyright: Picture Window Books, Source: Platos Academic

When Father Gabriel Meija, a catholic priest residing in Columbia, first learned transcendental meditation, he was impressed with what it did for him. So, he applied what he learned to eventually open 40 rehabilitation centers throughout his country in order to give sanctuary to displaced children living on the streets, exposed to crime, drugs, and wretched levels of poverty.

Meija says that meditation can be described in one word: happiness. He wanted to give the same happiness and bliss he experienced through the practice of meditation to children he saw living in dire conditions in the streets, called, ‘gamines’ or ‘throw away children’ in his native country.

In cities like Bogota, street children are marginalized and abandoned due to poverty, drug addiction, and other social and political factors. The problem became so severe that death squads were hired in the 1990s by merchants who saw the ‘gamines’ as a hindrance to good business, in order to cleanse the area of the ‘disposables,’ as they were called.

A lucrative drug trade provides huge profits for paramilitary and guerrilla groups, and a small slice of the population lucky enough to live in upper echelons, but many Columbians live in abject poverty, contributing to the challenge of street children.

Cities throughout Columbia, markedly so in Bogota, display a polarization of wealth, with slick shopping centers on the one hand, and streets filled with trash and homeless children, just a few blocks away.

Instead of shooing away the hungry children, as many local business owners would do, or even hiring mercenaries to dispose of them, Meija decided to offer them a slightly unconventional solution. The ‘traditional’ methods he saw being used around the world to help children like those in his country, he observed, were failing. His solution? Introduce yoga and meditation.

Father Gabriel, as he is called, believes that building trust and rehabilitating the spirit of these children is the foundation for changing their lives long term.  The mission of Fundacion Hogares Claret, one of his rehabilitation centers is stated clearly: to go hand in hand with people affected by marginality, addiction, violence or with behavior problems, in order to help them to find a sense of their lives with the intention of re-establishing their rights and including them in different areas of society.

Father Gabriel believes that re-establishing these youngsters in ‘the flow of life’ and ‘infinite bliss’ offered by a meditation practice helps to restore what the streets and poverty have taken from them.

The basic therapy that is applied at Meija’s centers is love, as he describes it, but each child is expected to take responsibility for his own rehabilitation. He explains:

“When a child starts to practice yoga every day, morning and afternoon. When a child closes the eyes and begins to meditate . . . they open themselves up to a field of infinite possibilities as Maharishi says. The world opens up for the child, and then the child discovers their essential nature, which is love . . . we must globalize love.’

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is the founder of TM, otherwise known as the transcendental meditation program.

Father Gabriel is being called the ‘Saint of Columbia’ for his efforts to introduce yoga and meditation to marginalized children, but really, it is something we should all be practicing every day – to bring more love into our own lives.

For more inspiration from the ‘Saint of Columbia’ you can watch the following:

Listen to Father Gabriel in ‘Love and Transcendence: The Secrets of Lasting Rehabilitation

 

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Image source: http://www.yogavanam.com/
B R E A T H E
B R E A T H E

Researchers at the University of South Carolina (USC) have found that an ancient yogic practice called Thirumantharim can protect the neurons in our brains, helping to guard against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Dr. Sundara Balasubramanian, a biochemist and research assistant professor at Medical University of South Carolina conducted a study wherein a control group sat and read quietly for twenty minutes while another group of participants practiced controlled breathing and Om chanting for the same duration. The results they found were quit shocking.

Sixty percent of the group who practiced yogic breathing realized a marked increase in Nerve Growth Factor (NGF), an important protein the body uses to protect the neurons of the brain.

Balasubramanian calls the practice a systematic exercise, and he couldn’t be more correct.

The Himalayan Academy states that Thirumantharim, from the Sanskrit language, literally translates to ‘Holy Incantation.’ The entire yogic practice involves much more than just breathing, and includes the essence of Raja, or ‘royal’ yoga as well as siddha yoga, a practice which was shared only with a few aspirants, and that could give practitioners special powers called siddhis.

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Image: http://www.kundalini-nepal.com/

Siddhis are essentially super-natural skills, meaning they are not experienced, sadly, by the common man and woman. Siddhi means ‘accomplishment’ or ‘perfection’ in Sanskrit. These skills are obtained by recognizing the emptiness (or rather zero-point state) of the Universe. It is no wonder that practicing just a small fraction of the exercises from the ancient Thirumantharim text would give someone the ability to avoid one of the most common illnesses of our age.

Maybe breathing like a yogi for ten minutes every day won’t help you walk on water, but Patanjali, a yogic sage who compiled many thousands of years of yogic teachings said in the Yoga Sutras:

Janma-osadhi-mantra-tapah-samadhi-jah siddayahsamadhi.”

Which translates to:

Births, herbs, mantras and tapas can help you to attain Samadhi and its accomplishments.”

Tapas, or ‘the disciplines’, include breathing properly. Mantras like ‘Om’ also have a known healing component studied by modern scientists and ancient sages alike for its ability to alter the physiology profoundly. This one chant has been proven to alter us at the molecular level – is it any wonder that a combination of deep, yogic breathing, and the utterance of ‘Om’ can change our neuronal health?

The pharmaceutical industry has tried to develop synthetic forms of Nerve Growth Factor to deliver to the brain in order to reverse Alzheimer’s and other forms of neurodegeneration, but a simple practice can profoundly change the brain, as evidenced by the surprising results found at USC. There is no need for another expensive ‘brain medication.’ Ancient yogic practices hold the keys for healing – and they are free for anyone who wants to try them.

Photo Courtesy of: Oscillation Yoga

Featured image: http://www.yogavanam.com/

Rainbow Body copyA Benedictine monk, David Steindl-Rast, once explored the Tibetan Buddhist claim that a person of high spiritual development could exit their physical body, vanish in mere days, leaving behind only ashes, to become a ‘rainbow body,’ of manifest light. This ‘metanormal’ activity is not relegated to the Tibetans, though. Attaining ‘rainbow body’ is discussed in Zen texts, as well as Zoroastrian, Christian, Manichean, Muslim, Bonpo, Nyigma, and of course, Vedic texts, among others.  Attaining the ‘light body’ is for everyone, but the Tibetans have given us ample proof that it actually does, and can occur. This experience in Universal.

There is, in fact, quit a bit of postmortem research on this paranormal phenomenon in Tibet. Rast endeavored to research the death of a Tibetan Monk, Khenpo Achö, who had reportedly obtained rainbow body because he thought it could help him more deeply understand the resurrection of Jesus Christ, but his search was followed by many more inquiries, each researcher delving in for their own personal or spiritual reasons.

Khenpo Achö is of some notoriety, but so are others who have obtained rainbow body, like Bon po master, Sharrdza; thousands of yogis in the Tamil Siddha tradition and others, Christian saints like Peter Celestine, Sergius of Radonezh, and Seraphim of Sarov, along with numerous accounts from Taoist masters.

Dzogchen Khenpo Choga Rinpoche writes of his teacher’s passing into a body of light:

“. . . my precious teacher Dzogchen Lama Karma Rinpoche passed away on the 11th of November, 2013. Yesterday I received extraordinary news from my Dharma friends in the holy Dzogchen area of Tibet that the sacred body of my kind teacher Lama Karma has obviously and dramatically shrunk in size. Lama Karma’s body was about 175cm (approx. 5’9”) tall, but two weeks after he passed away, his seated body has now shrunk to about 20cm (approx. 8”), which means his body, including his skeleton, shrank nearly 80%. According to Dzogchen tantra, this kind of miraculous display shows he has attained the Small Rainbow Body, which is a sign that he has attained the supreme accomplishment of Buddha in this very life. Please deeply rejoice in his devoted practice and realization of Dzogchen. In doing so, you accumulate immeasurable merit. If his body continues to shrink and totally disappears, then this miracle will be categorized as Light Body or Atomless Body. I will describe these various miraculous results of Dzogchen practice later in this message.”

Khenpo Achö attained the rainbow body on a hillside above Lumorap in September 1998. Regional press gave specific accounts of the process, and “The Rainbow Body,” appeared in an Institute of Noetic Sciences Review 59 (March–May 2002); it was also mentioned by Matthew T. Kapstein in The Presence of Light: Divine Radiance and Religious Experience (University of Chicago Press, 2004).

Tulku Pema Rigtsal, a Nepalese Monk recounts Achö’s transfiguration:

“Recently, on August 29, 1998, at Dome Khamngak in Azi Rong in Tibet, Khenpo Achö, eighty years of age, attained physical dissolution. One day at noon, lying in bed, without having suffered any recent illness, while in the posture of a sleeping lion and reciting he six-syllables mantra, he attained buddha in the primordial basic matrix of alpha-purity, his heart of clear light reality perfected beyond the intellect. As his body dissolved into light, his wrinkles vanishing, he seemed like an eight-years old child with a beautiful complexion. After a week had passed, when people came to know of his death, they performed his death puja secretly in order to deceive the authorities, and at that time, rainbows appeared inside and outside, and a pleasant aroma pervaded the place. His body gradually diminished in size, and at the end, he attained buddha; not even his nails and hair were left behind. It was just like a bird flying from a rock— people nearby have no idea where it might have gone’.

As many have observed, and as Rev. Francis V. Tivo has said, “through many conversations with yogis in India, lamas in Tibet and Dolpo (Nepal), Zen masters in the US and in Japan, Muslim teachers in Bangladesh, Egypt, Turkey and the US, there is a real consensus that education about religion is not well done in the contemporary world, and that communities of faith need to be more clearly heard in the production of educational materials and methods of study.” This includes a discussion of the most outlandish sounding spiritual attainment – of leaving behind the physical body, for one that likely materializes at will in a different realm in a different form. The rainbow body attainment is for all people, not just a few monks and saints, but we are kept distracted with more mundane concerns so that attainment of this high goal becomes not only circumspect, but simply ignored.

As William Henry, a researcher of the rainbow body, explains:

“. . .two ‘elephants of transcendence’ are now before us. One grey. One pink.

Grey. We will enmesh a spectrum of inorganic digital technology in our skin (and everything else) and entangle (some say enslave) ourselves further in a ‘smart’ synthetic brain (or invisible prison) that clouds our home planet’s atmosphere with technology and eliminates Free Will. The world’s largest corporations are developing this technology. Millions have signed on. Incomprehensible benefits and challenges await. Trillions of dollars are at stake.

Pink. We will remain natural or organic beings and spiritually craft a rainbow light body that insures our freedom, and also leads to a post biological future in a consciousness of heightened awareness in which humans transform the earth into a planet of light and love. Before you say, ‘yeah right’, one should realize that millions of people who practice yoga, meditate, visualize and study methods of ascension are on this path. Their ascension can save our world.”

In fact, the secret of obtaining rainbow body was often ensconced in European and Christian art throughout the ages, as a means to vibrationally ‘transmit’ its possibility to the masses. Even if one didn’t understand what they were seeing – what the artist was painting – their subconscious mind understood the instructions that were being given. Of course, you can see numerous paintings of Tibetan Thangkas and Bodhisattvas that depict sages and monks sitting on a cloud with a massive halo, seemingly made of rainbow colors. This was not simply artistic license, but a means of transmitting information to the initiate who was ready to undertake the path for obtaining a body of light.

There are even reports of more than 160,000 documented cases in Tibet of people reaching a stage of consciousness that allowed them to transmute their physical form, and simultaneously, rainbows appear in the sky, the air is filled with a pleasant fragrance, and only traces, such as a handprint, what look like ashes, or a small, doll-like miniature of their physical form remains. It is said that greatly realized beings who attain the rainbow body at the time of death leave behind only nails, hair, and occasionally cartilage.

For yogis, the attainment of ‘enlightenment’ is no different than obtaining rainbow body. There are simply different levels of attainment. There are incidences of ‘partial’ rainbow body attainment for different yogis all over the globe.

The Christian bible describes a similar process, only it names it ‘the transfiguration.’ Almost every culture has a name for this practice, yet millions of people around the world have never heard of the term, nor have any notion of what it would entail to ‘transfigure.’ Just to make it clear, that this is not an isolated phenomenon:

  • The Sufi call the rainbow body, ‘the most sacred body’ or the supracelestia body.
  • The Taoists call the rainbow body, the ‘diamond body.’ Those who have obtained this level of spiritual purity are called ‘the immortals’ or ‘the Cloud Walkers.’
  • Tantric and Kriya yogis each have their own name for rainbow body, being ‘the divine body,’ or ‘the body of bliss.’
  • Rainbow body is also called the ‘superconductive body’ by Zoroastiran Vedantaists.
  • The Christina gnostics called it the ‘perfect body’
  • Other names found throughout the ages include the ‘immortal body’ or the ‘Golden body.’

So how do we obtain Rainbow Body with so many accounts transcending every age, culture, and religious sect? We utter the six-syllable mantra, Om Mani Padme Hum, and purify our hearts and minds. You can certainly obtain transmissions from lineages who have perfected this process, and even get initiated into practices which guarantee the attainment of ‘rainbow body’ in as little as one lifetime, but all of these start with being centered on love, and letting go of fear. As long as you are removing the ego-placed obstacles from your mind, you are progressing toward the Body of Perfection.

Additional Sources:

Debunking Death

Live Deep Now

Tiso, Francis, T., Rainbow Body and Resurrection: Spiritual Attainment, the Dissolution of the Material Body, and the Case of Khenpo A Cho. North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, California, 2016.

Image Credit: “Cosmic Mother Birthing Rainbow Body” by Melissa Shemanna | Redbubble

Featured image #2: Credit

Anceint Cannabis User copyCannabis is known to give its users some grandiose ideas, and has even been given mythical origins, but new archeological evidence suggests that even the wheel may have been invented by one of three  ancient tribes known for smuggling pot across borders during the Bronze Age.

Some believe pot was first used during the Shang Dynasty, between 1200 B.C. and 1050 B.C., (the Shang and Zhou Dynasties were known as the Bronze Age of China) when oracles carved symbols on bones and turtle shells suggesting so, and while the Chinese deserve some credit for popularizing this medicinal herb, researchers are finding that cannabis was used even earlier.

The Bronze Age took place largely across Egypt around 3000 B.C. It was during this time that civilizations first established far-reaching networks – meaning pot smugglers would have had customers far and wide during this era. Evidence suggests that along with getting stoned, these stone-aged travelers may have also invented the wheel.

Tengwen Long and Pavel Tarasov from the Free University of Berlin compiled evidence of ancient cannabis use from archeological digs to hopefully observing any interesting trends. Previous evidence suggested that cultures in Western Europe and Japan started using cannabis at the same time – approximately 10,000 years ago, but Long and Tarasov came to a different conclusion.

Long suggests that the scattered availability of the use of cannabis in East Asia are no accident. Cannabis use for everything from textiles to the smoked herb began to intensify at the same time that a group of nomadic pastoralists began riding their horses across the Eurasian Steppe. As trade routes were established between the East and West, eventually becoming the Silk Road, cannabis was spread. You can see the same trend with cannabis as with wheat crops.Wheat was first cultivated 10,000 years ago in the Middle East, and didn’t spread into China until the appearance of the trade routes that the pot smugglers likely helped establish.

These “proto-Indo-European” travelers, named the Yamnaya, likely spread their knowledge of other tools besides cannabis, including the wheel. They used cannabis for many things – from making rope to getting ‘high’ during rituals, and healing their medical ailments.

As High Times explains:

“The earliest written account of anyone smoking cannabis comes from the Greek historian Herodotus, who reportedly smoked cannabis on the Crimean Peninsula with the Scythians. In Herodotus’ own words:

“The Scythians put the Seeds of this ‘hemp’ under the bags, upon the burning stones; and immediately a more agreeable vapor is emitted than from the incense burnt in Greece. The Company extremely transported with the scent, howl aloud.””

It just so happens that the Scythians lived in the same areas as the Yamnaya that came before them. Their use of pot was likely passed down from generations preceding them.

Photo courtesy: The Weed Street Journal

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Most tortoises live to be over 100 years in age. A mosquito fish is lucky to live just two short years, and mayflies have one of the shortest life spans, with a birth and death that can happen within 24 hours.  An African forest elephant can live almost as long as a human being, with an average life span of about 70 years. A queen fire ant can live for up to seven years while worker ants might only last 180 days.

A secret all these animals can tell us about human longevity was recently discovered by James Carey, a biodemography specialist at the University of California, Davis. Davis discovered that an animals’ life span can tell us much about whether we’ll die young or manage to clink champagne glasses with other centenarians that outlive even their children.

Age by Species copySo, there’s the obvious observation – that species within a certain group of organisms often have similar lifespans. You wouldn’t usually find a song bird that lives as long as monitor lizard, for example, but here’s what isn’t as overt: species that push the boundaries of their group’s typical life span provide insight into what can prompt the evolution of longevity in us.

Longevity is Related to the Total Energy Expended Over a Lifetime

Animals that survive harsh conditions to live many years, such as life in the deep ocean, or in the arid desert, give some indications about how we can live longer, as do their social habits, but Carey found that the longevity of many species has a lot to do with the total energy an animal exerts over its lifetime, a finding other scientists have hinted at before.

This could also provide some insight as to why the yogic tradition teaches people to breath more like elephants, instead of dogs – with a slow and even respiratory rate, as well as practice yoga asana, which is famous for reversing the heart rate, stress rate, and overall strain on the body as a whole. A big, slow elephant is known to outlast the hard-working, constantly moving, but tiny ant. It isn’t size so much as energy expenditure that is the key.

A 300-Year Old Tortoise Breathes Only Three or Four Times a Minute

If we look at the tortoise – some of the only land vertebrates that can live to be as old as 300 years-of-age, we can gain even more clues as to how this phenomenon works. Firstly, a tortoise is notoriously slow moving. They expend energy to get food, procreate, or move out of the sun only when it is absolutely necessary. A tortoise also withdraws its sensory organs, namely its hands and feet, into its shell on many occasions. This causes the tortoise to reduce the sensory stimulation that it must process.

Here’s the biggest hint as to why a slow-moving tortoise lives so long, though; It breathes only three to four times every minute. An average human being breathes at least 15 times per minute. The respiratory rates for other animals, like dogs and squirrels, is much faster.

The Vedas Held this Secret

It was taught to the Brahmins in the Vedic culture, that the faster we expend our breaths, the faster we should die. Our life force is like money in the bank. We can spend it frivolously, or save it up for a rainy day. When we practice pranayama techniques that aim to lengthen the cycle of the breath and slow the resting heart rate, we can truly extend our lifespan’s.

Though Carey’s research didn’t touch on yogic practices, he’d likely be intrigued to find out that his scientific findings for living longer were echoed in yogic texts that date to more than 5000 years ago. Yogis of this time were notorious for observing the natural world, and the animals within it, to unlock keys to health and longevity.

Look at what Paramahansa Yogandanda, the same yogi who taught the Beatles, and who wrote An Autobiography of a Yogi, said about breathing and life spans:

 “The restless monkey breathes at the rate of 32 times a minute, in contrast to man’s average 18 times. The elephant, tortoise, snake and other animals noted for their longevity have a respiratory rate which is less than man’s. The tortoise for instance, who may attain the age of 300 years, breathes only 4 times per minute.”

What do elephants and ants have to teach us about how to live longer? We can reserve our energy by slowing our breath, or work ourselves ‘to death.’ It’s a simple lesson in the economy of energy.

Featured image: Credit

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Image credit: AJ+

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has left almost 90 percent of the water supply unfit for people to drink. Fayez al-Hindi has devised a homemade water desalinization setup that is helping to solve the water crisis, though, as some Gaza residents face running out of water in mere months. It runs on solar power and a little ingenuity.

Three years of jets bombing the Gaza strip have left the territory’s water infrastructure extremely unstable. Both reservoirs above ground and below have been damaged, so even when it rains, the water is often contaminated, and made unfit to drink. More than $34 million dollars’ worth of damage has been done to Gaza’s water infrastructure.

You would think that such massive-scale damage would mean that the residents are left hopeless, but not with a little sunshine and a desalinization tank. Al-Hindi’s solution to the water shortage in his area was to build a simple tank that separates clean water from salt and pollutants. The tank doesn’t do industrial-strength work, but it makes just enough water for he and his family to drink and cook with daily – about 2.6 gallons. His tank works without the use of chemicals, and simply utilizes the energy of the sun.

His device started getting a few nods, but people were concerned that the distilled water he was creating was not truly clean. Coastal Municipalities Water Utility tested the water from al-Hindi’s invention, and found that it was more than potable. A technician for the utility said the results were, “fascinating.”

It can take years – sometimes decades – for infrastructure to be rebuilt following a war, so al-Hindi will help others in his community build similar solar-powered water distillation tanks so that more people have access to clean water, today.

83 million people currently live in the driest areas of the planet, and more than 783 million people worldwide, are currently living without access to clean water for drinking. More than 2.5 billion simply can’t clean their water properly.

As al-Hindi has said, “Sunshine is readily available in our country, Thank God.” For many suffering water instability due to drought conditions, war, and other natural disasters, his invention could mean the difference between life and death.

Featured image credit: AJ+

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The world is in desperate need of alternative energy, and Australia just rode the wave, quite literally, into a new energy paradigm. Using the Perth Wave Energy Project’s CETO 5 wave energy generators developed by Carnegie Wave Energy Limited, the movement of the ocean is creating renewable, sustainable energy – which can even be used to make potable water through desalinization.

For now, the CETO 5 wave generator  is being used to provide energy to a nearby naval base, but future installments of the electricity-generating technology are in planning stages. 3 CETO units channeling energy from the ocean are plugged into a power grid for 14000 cumulative hours of energy.

The below video explains how the CETO 5 works. 240kW buoys tethered to water pumps covert the movement of the ocean waves into high-powered water which is then used to create hydroelectricity to power a reverse-osmosis desalination plant.

Carnegie Wave Energy claims the technology doesn’t harm ocean life, causes no pollution, and can be placed at different depths of the ocean, so as not to be affected by storms.

Ian Macfarlane, Federal Energy Minister of Australia says:

“Wave-powered generation could hold the key to viability of renewable energy because it was predictable and could run all day. This is one of the great success stories in innovation in renewable energy.”

Australia is one of many places on the planet that can harness wave energy effectively to provide electric energy to its citizens, but there are many more locations around the planet that could benefit from similar technology.

wavee
Click for larger image. Source: http://carnegiewave.com/

Free energy technologies have been suppressed by the JPMorgan and Bush family corporate energy cartels for far too long. JPMorgan Chase is one of the five major financial institutions of the US, but many Americans are not aware of their history of crime. The company has employees all over the world, with assets of over $2.5 trillion. Just a cursory view of the last several years of JPMorgan Chase’s annual reports reveals numerous illegal activities. Here are a few:

• In 2011, the company agreed to pay a $35 million settlement fee to military families that claimed they were overcharged on their mortgages, a violation of the Service Members Civil Relief Act and Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008.
• In 2012, JP Morgan Chase paid the US government $659 million to settle charges that it charged veterans hidden fees in mortgage contracts.
• Also in 2012, the company paid a $1.2 billion settlement for conspiring to set the price of credit and debit card interchange fees.
• In 2013, the company paid $80 million in fines and $309 million in refunds to customers who were billed for credit monitoring charges that the bank never provided.
• Again in 2013, they paid $4.5 billion as part of a settlement for defrauding investors in mortgage-backed securities.
• $79.9 million was paid in settlement fees for the illegal rigging of benchmark interest rates.
• $110 million was paid for overcharging customers for overdraft fees.
JPMorgan Chase paid over $410 million of an originally proposed $1 billion to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to settle a claim of bidding manipulation of California and Midwest electricity markets, otherwise known as energy fixing.
Millions more were paid by JPMorgan Chase for insurance fraud, facilitating Bernie Madoff’s embezzlement of $64.8 billion from tens of thousands of unsuspecting investors, and more.

There will soon be no need to burn fossil fuels, once technologies like these, and those created by genius minds like Nikola Tesla, are available for the common man and woman.

[1] https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/26336714/switch-flicked-on-for-wave-power-project/

[2] http://arena.gov.au/project/perth-wave-energy-project/

[3]https://magazine.good.is/articles/australia-ceto-water-power-wave-generator

http://breakingenergy.com/2015/02/26/aussie-wave-energy-deployment-makes-splash-but-next-project-will-be-real-test/

http://carnegiewave.com/

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The New Year starts with more positive news. Aldi Süd, a German supermarket chain with stores in the U.S., has become the first major European retailer to ban pesticides toxic to bees, including the neonicotinoids imidacloprid, clothianidin, and thiamethoxam, from all produce sold in their stores. [1]

The announcement was made January 1st, with the retailer expecting fruit and vegetable suppliers for their stores to comply with their new policy ASAP. The following pesticides will no longer be tolerated:

  • Thiamethoxam
  • Chlorpyrifos
  • Clothianidin
  • Cypermethrin
  • Deltamethrin
  • Fipronil
  • Imidacloprid
  • Sulfoxaflor

The decision to ban bee-toxic pesticides comes following public pressure, and follows another German retailer’s decision to ban the herbicide chemical glyphosate – another toxic compound that is fueling numerous problems.

According to a press release from Greenpeace, the chemicals are used on various commodities in Europe:

  • Thiamethoxam – applied to lettuce and endive
  • Chlorpyrifos, clothianidin – applied to kohlrabi, herbs, Brussels sprouts, head cabbage, cauliflower, and kale
  • Cypermethrin – applied to leek, head cabbage, and leguminous vegetables
  • Deltamethrin – applied to cauliflower, peppers, eggplant, zucchini, cucumber, pea, head cabbage, tomato, and lettuce
  • Imidacloprid – applied to apples, peaches, apricots, and lettuce
  • Sulfoxaflor was recently granted regulatory approval in Europe, despite calls and legal action to prohibit its registration [2]

The UK’s largest garden retailers, including Homebase, B&Q, and Wickes have already voluntarily stopped selling neonicotinoids.

These pesticides have proven to cause problems for bee reproduction, navigation, and foraging, as well as the suppression of bee immune systems. Just this month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its preliminary pollinator assessment for the neonic imidacloprid which finds various residues of the chemical in crops where the pollinators forage, and confirms bees’ widespread and sustained exposure to the highly toxic and persistent chemical through poisoned pollen and nectar.

Sadly, requests for our government agencies to ban these pesticides have been ignored.

Thanks Aldi, for doing the right thing and protecting the bees!

Source:

[1] BeyondPesticides

[2] BeyondPesticides/resources/pesticide-gateway?

Source: http://naturalsociety.com

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