Archive | March, 2014

Community Close-up Q & A New Renaissance Bookshop

Posted on 26 March 2014 by Jason

We are delighted to spotlight New Renaissance Bookshop this month to share further insight into one of Portland’s gems and the owners, Darlene and Jamie Potter.

Often People refer to you as the conscious living bookshop on NW 23rd, but your business and role in the community reach far beyond just books. What is it that people find when they come to New Renaissance?

As a conscious living store, we offer the community an array of over 18,000 books, healing crystals, CDs with a listening area, gifts and statuary filled with meaning and beauty, and events to enhance your spiritual life’s journey.
We talk a lot about vibration in the store. Just like tuning forks, people resonate to a certain vibratory energy. Many people entering the store for the first time talk about a feeling of coming home or belonging when they feel the energy of the store. They become relaxed and move into a magical state where the unexpected can happen. Synchronicity flows where old friends meet and new relationships are formed. Just the right item is found, just the right book or music jumps off the shelf, and just the next step on the Path is taken. For some, this step can be life changing!

Can you share with our readers some of the history behind this iconic store that stretches across four classic Northwest buildings?

We started the store on December 4 of 1987. That means we are in our 27th year. The idea of the store happened when we were at a crossroads of career for both of us. The mission of the store came clearly in visual pictures while Jamey was on spiritual retreat. It was the clearest and strongest guidance that we have received to date. This work was ready to be born!
From Day One, we wanted the store to bring people together for spiritual community and sharing. We want people to find those of like mind, their tribe. So the events program has always been important. We wanted to provide one-stop shopping for the conscious consumer, so that you could get all your gift items here. We offer not only mala prayer beads crafted by artists reciting mantra but also a handcrafted compass for a great graduation gift.
We wanted to keep our prices moderate, so that we offer the most beautiful products with the majority of items priced under $25. We support good companies and artists with fair trade practices.
The store has expanded three times. We started in one Victorian house. In 1994, we marched south into the next two Victorian houses. And in 2002, we added our event center in the fourth house. Even the architecture can be mysterious. We have seen friends come in the store and tell us that they are amazed how big the store is. We like all the nooks and crannies that folks can get lost in. Some of our regulars will tell us that they have just realized that we have an upstairs with our Zen Garden fountain and statuary area.

What has been the most challenging situation you have faced in all your years in business and how have you addressed that challenge?

The recession and digitalization of books and media have been our biggest challenges. But “what doesn’t kill you makes you strong” applies here. Creativity became our friend and we needed to put out even more energy.
We offer the unexpected! The Free DVD Rental Program (one every time you come in the store) is very popular. Our Events Program has grown—events almost every day with three on Saturday and two on Sunday. We have local practitioners presenting product demos Thursday through Sunday—everything from energy clearing sprays, to local Oma chocolates, to luscious essential oil sprays. Every day, you can meet our readers and psychics at our reader table. We have expanded their evening hours. Free Tea is always available and each child who visits gets to pick a free semi-precious stone.
We did a mini-remodel in 2011 and brought in more crystals, jewelry, tea and body products. The response was immediate and we knew we were on the right track. We have to stay light on our feet and come up with new areas of interest. Right now, we are bringing in more men’s jewelry.

You seem to have a very loyal staff, and a regular and returning customer base. How have you managed to maintain these levels of cohesiveness and connection?

Our staff is our true treasure! There is a wealth of knowledge, experience and creativity in our staff members. We hire people who are serious about their spiritual quest and want to share their interest with others. We have a diversity of interests in different traditions and practices represented in our staff that makes New Renaissance balanced and strong.
To support the staff and customers, we offer staff meditations and free meditations for the public on Wednesday evenings at 5:30. We say universal healing prayers for all who request them. We have five prayer boxes around the store. We always have mini-miracles happening with our AUMS. Even the computers respond to an AUM, a little love and a reboot!
We are all about building relationships and seeing the Universal Consciousness in each person. It is not always easy but always rewarding. We support each other and everyone who walks in the door.

What’s new at New Renaissance in 2014? What do we have to look forward to in the year ahead?

2014 is looking good! We are considering another min-remodel this year to bring in more crystals, salt lamps and products for alternative health and body care. Tea, chocolate and yummy snacks have been strong and we will probably expand those areas. We are hitting the Spring Gift Shows and we will expand into wonderful areas.
We are co-sponsoring an exciting Afterlife Conference this June, featuring Eben Alexander (Proof of Heaven) and Raymond Moody (Life After Life). There will be sixteen other presenters too.
As always, we have built this mission at New Renaissance with the help and relationships that we have with you. We love your suggestions. Tell us what you would like to see. Together, we will keep New Renaissance strong and vital. We appreciate you!

Check their upcoming events and see a virtual tour of the New Renaissance at NewrenBooks.com.

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Good Riddance to Bad Vibes Escaping Electromagnetic Exposure by Priscilla Goudreau-Santos

Posted on 26 March 2014 by Jason

We crackle with energy. Natural electromagnetic fields within us regulate how our bodies work. Plus, we continually encounter many outside energy fields from Wi-Fi, cell phones and towers, power lines, microwave ovens, computer and TV screens, security devices and radar. A growing number of experts see these surrounding frequencies as a growing danger to our well-being.

Applying modalities like acupuncture, Reiki, Touch for Health and Eden Energy Medicine can help us maintain a healthy energy balance internally. They work to harmonize the body to protect against stress, trauma and associated illness.

Phyllis Traver, owner of Safe & Sound Home, in Boston, is certified by the International Institute of Building-Biology & Ecology to detect, measure and counter in-home electromagnetic activity. “The institute usually finds that when a patient doesn’t respond to treatment by an energy healer, it’s because of the environment. I try to neutralize its effect to help the body regulate properly,” Traver says.

While protection in highly occupied family areas is important, providing protection in bedrooms is especially vital, due to the amount of time we spend there for rest and restoration. Traver’s diagnoses sometimes suggest remediation measures that involve an electrician grounding currents and adding selective shielding materials to block frequencies flowing from electronic devices. “Magnetic fields from outside the house are hard to control, but 98 percent of what I find can be fixed,” she advises.

When Terry Mollner, 69, was having trouble sleeping he contacted Traver, who receives client referrals from energy healers. “The conclusions were stunning,” Mollner says. “The detector’s measurements went off the charts in the bedroom. It wasn’t the flat screen TV at the foot of my bed, but how the room’s wiring was done. The electrician installed a relay so I can switch off the power on that side of the house at night. Now, I sleep six or seven hours,” which he characterizes as “a profound change.” He also suggests turning off and moving cell phones away from beds. Mollner then hardwired the computers in his home, eliminated Wi-Fi and rearranged the electronic equipment in his home office.

Kim Cook, an energy practitioner in Mission Viejo, California, specializes in Eden Energy Medicine and Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT). Cook decided not to buy a house she was initially interested in because it was in a hot spot. When Cook used her meter to chart frequencies at home it also prompted her to move her bedroom clock radio to a different bureau. “It’s no longer sitting right at our heads,” she notes. Plus, “I don’t put my cell phone on my body and it bothers me that my son puts his in his pocket.”

An overarching observation from Cook’s professional practice is that increasing numbers of people in pain are interested in energy medicine because they’re so frustrated with Western medicine. She observes, “Pain is blocked energy, and people are learning how to unblock it naturally.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) launched the International EMF Project in 1996 because of rising public health concerns due to the surge in EMF sources. After reviewing extensive research and thousands of articles, the organization can’t confirm—or deny—the existence of health consequences from exposure to low-level EMFs.

But in 2011, the WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer classified the electromagnetic radiation from cell phones as possibly carcinogenic to humans, based on increased risk for glioma, a malignant brain cancer. Lloyd Morgan, a senior researcher with the nonprofit Environmental Health Trust and lead author of the internationally endorsed report, Cellphones and Brain Tumors, goes further, unequivocally stating, “Cell phone radiation is a carcinogen.”

In our own environment, we can regulate EMF, says Iowan Camilla Rees, founder of the educational petition website ElectromagneticHealth.org and Campaign for Radiation Free Schools on Facebook; she is the co-author of Public Health SOS: The Shadow Side of the Wireless Revolution and Morgan’s cell phone report.

Says Rees, “You can buy a meter, avoid using cordless phones and baby monitors, and change your cell phone behavior. The harmful effects of cell phones decrease with distance; just by holding the cell phone six inches from your head, there is a 10,000-fold reduction of risk.”

Priscilla Goudreau-Santos is a freelance writer and owner of Priscilla Goudreau Public Relations & Marketing, in Charlotte, NC (PriscillaGoudreauPR.com).

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Green & Thrifty DIY Recipes Keep Your Home Naturally Clean by Lane Vail

Posted on 26 March 2014 by Jason

Americans use 35 million pounds of toxic household cleaning products annually. According to the Children’s Health Environmental Coalition, in Los Angeles, traces of cleaning chemicals can be found throughout the human body within seconds of exposure, posing risks like asthma, allergies, cancer, reproductive toxicity, hormone disruption, neurotoxicity and death.

Equally sobering is the decades of research suggesting a relationship between the overuse of powerful disinfectants and the rise of antibiotic-resistant super bacteria like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), as well as concerns over these toxins entering water supplies and wildlife food chains.

Cleaning product labels lack transparency, says Johanna Congleton, Ph.D., senior scientist for the Environmental Working Group, because “manufacturers aren’t required to specify ingredients.”

One approach to assure safe ingredients is do-it-yourself (DIY) products. For Matt and Betsy Jabs, the authors of DIY Natural Household Cleaners who blog at DIYNatural.com, creating homemade cleaners is a rewarding exercise in sustainability and simplicity. “We’re cutting through all the marketing and getting back to basics,” says Matt. Affordability is another benefit: The Jabs’ homemade laundry detergent costs five cents per load, compared with 21 cents for a store brand.

Annie B. Bond, a bestselling author and pioneering editor of the award-winning Green Guide, dispels a DIY myth: “What’s time-consuming isn’t making the cleaners; it’s making the decision to switch and figuring it all out,” she says.

Nine Basics

Find these multitasking ingredients in local groceries and health stores or online.

White vinegar effectively cleans, deodorizes, cuts grease and disinfects against bacteria, viruses and mold.

Castile soap in liquid or bar form serves as a biodegradable, vegetable-based surfactant and all-around cleaner (avoid mixing with vinegar, which neutralizes its cleansing properties).

Baking soda cleans, whitens, neutralizes odors and softens water. It’s an excellent scrubbing agent for bathrooms, refrigerators and ovens.

Borax, a natural mineral, improves the effectiveness of laundry soap. Although classified (as is salt) as a low-level health hazard that should be kept away from children and animals, borax is non-carcinogenic and isn’t absorbed through skin.

Washing soda, a caustic chemical cousin of baking soda, softens water and removes stains. Bond advises, “It’s a heavy duty cleaner as powerful as any toxic solvent,” so wear gloves.

Hydrogen peroxide is considered an effective disinfectant and bleach alternative by the Environmental Protection Agency. Use it to whiten grout and remove stains.

Essential oils derived from plants infuse cleaners with fragrance and boost germ-fighting power. Tea tree, eucalyptus and lavender oils all boast antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. The Jabs advise that although they can be pricy, “The investment will pay for itself many times over.”

Lemon juice or citric acid cuts through grease, removes mold and bacteria and leaves dishes streak-free.

Coarse kosher salt helps soften dishwasher water and acts as a scouring agent.

Home Formulas

All-purpose cleaner: Homemade Cleaners: Quick-and-Easy Toxin-Free Recipes, by Mandy O’Brien and Dionna Ford, suggests combining one cup of vinegar, one cup of water and 15 drops of lemon oil in a spray bottle. Use it anywhere, including glass and mirrors. For serious disinfecting, follow with a hydrogen peroxide spray.

Foaming hand/dish soap: Shake one cup of water, a quarter-cup of castile soap and 15 drops of essential oil in a foaming dispenser. Use in bathrooms and kitchens.

Dishwashing detergent: DIYNatural recommends mixing one cup of borax, one cup of washing soda, a half-cup of citric acid and a half-cup of coarse kosher salt. Leave it uncovered for several days, stirring often to prevent clumping. Cover and refrigerate. Use one tablespoon per load with a half-cup of citric acid in the rinse to combat streaks.

Laundry detergent: Combine one cup of borax, one cup of washing soda and one 14-ounce bar of grated castile soap, instructs DIYNatural.com. Use one tablespoon per load, adding a half-cup of lemon juice to the rinse cycle. Prior to washing, use hydrogen peroxide as a stain remover (test first; it may lift color).

Bathroom soft scrub: Bond recommends creating a thick paste with liquid castile soap and a half-cup of baking soda. Scour tubs, showers and stainless steel surfaces with a sponge, and then rinse.

Toilet bowl cleaner: Sprinkle one cup of borax into the toilet at bedtime and then clean the loosened grime with a brush the next morning, advises Bond. Wipe outer surfaces with the all-purpose spray.

Wood polish: Bond recommends mixing a quarter-cup of vinegar or lemon juice with a few drops of olive and lemon oil.

Hard floor cleaner: Environmental Working Group’s DIY Cleaning Guide suggests combining a half-gallon of hot water with one cup of white vinegar in a bucket to mop.

Carpet cleaner: Freshen rugs by sprinkling baking soda at night and vacuuming in the morning, suggests Bond. For deeper cleaning, combine one cup of vinegar and two-and-a-half gallons of water in a steam cleaner.

Lane Vail is a freelance writer in South Carolina. Connect at WriterLane.com.

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Mushroom Magic Delicate Powerhouses of Nutrition and Medicine by Case Adams

Posted on 26 March 2014 by Jason

Mushrooms have played a remarkable role in human history. Egyptian hieroglyphics dating back 4,500 years linked mushrooms to immortality. The famous 5,300-year-old “iceman” found frozen in 1991 in the Tyrolean Alps carried a sachet containing the mushroom species Piptoporus betulinus—the birch polypore. Greek writings of Hippocrates, Pliny, Dioscorides, Galen and others regarded the mushroom Fomitopsis officinalis (agarikon) as a panacea.

While enthusiasm later waned in Europe, with John Farley characterizing mushrooms in his 1784 book, The London Art of Cookery, as “treacherous gratifications,” Native American Indians used varieties such as puffballs (Calvatia and Lycoperdon species) for rheumatism, congested organs and other diseased conditions. Yet, modern-day culinary connoisseurs owe the recent surge in interest in fungal delicacies more to Japanese and Chinese traditions, which have consistently advanced mushrooms’ nutritional and medicinal uses. Ancient Chinese medical texts, including the Hanshu (82 CE) even referred to the famed reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum) as the “mushroom of immortality.”

Today, fungi cuisine in the West is typically limited to Agaracus bisporus—the relatively mild button mushroom, which matures into the acclaimed portobello. But digging deeper into available options reveals chanterelle (Cantharellus sp.), oyster (Pleurotus ostreatus), morel (Morchella sp.) and shiitake (Lentinula edodes) species. These culinary mushrooms provide a virtuosity of delicate flavors harboring nutritional and medicinal benefits according to mycologists.

University of California-Berkeley research scientist and mycologist Christopher Hobbs, Ph.D., explains that shiitake and oyster mushrooms follow the button as the most widely cultivated around the world. “They come in many colors, varieties and species and are typically the most easily digested and utilized of all mushrooms,” Hobbs explains.

“Mushrooms are an amazing health food,” says Hobbs. “Most edible fungi are high in fiber, good-quality protein, key vitamins, micronutrients, phosphorous and potassium, and low in fat and calories. It’s one of nature’s perfect diet foods.”

As protein powerhouses, portobello and other button mushrooms, shiitake and oyster varieties all deliver between 30 and 35 percent protein by weight.

The fiber content can range from 20 grams per 100 grams (about 3.5 ounces) in the case of portobello to a lofty 48 grams per 100 grams in the Phoenix oyster mushroom.

Mushrooms also supply potent B vitamins. One hundred grams (about 3.5 ounces) of portobello contains more than four milligrams of riboflavin (B2), 69 milligrams niacin (B3) and 12 milligrams pantothenic acid (B5). Shiitake’s comparable numbers are three, 106 and 17 while pink oyster delivers 2.45, 66 and 33 milligrams of the three nutrients. Thus, they deliver significantly more than recommended daily allowances (RDA)—for example, niacin’s adult RDA ranges from 14 to 16 milligrams and riboflavin’s is just 1.1 to 1.3 milligrams.

Mushrooms also present one of the few food sources of vitamin D—primarily D2, but some also contain small amounts of vitamin D3 according to U.S. Department of Agriculture research. Also, their D2 levels spike dramatically when sun-dried spore-side-up, confirmed in research by internationally recognized mycologist Paul Stamets.

Mushrooms contain important minerals, too. Portobello contains 4,500 milligrams, oyster 4,500 milligrams and shiitake 2,700 milligrams of potassium per 100 grams, all with low sodium levels. Plus, they deliver usable amounts of copper, zinc and selenium.

Beyond the nutrient numbers lies mushrooms’ bonus round: They contain special complex polysaccharides—long-chain molecules within cell walls that have been the subject of intense research at leading institutions around the world, including Harvard, Yale and the University of California. Mushrooms’ (1-3)-beta-glucan complexes have been shown to inhibit many cancers and suggest potential solutions for diabetes, heart disease and immune-related conditions.

Stamets explains that mushrooms also contain sterols, shown to benefit cardiovascular health. “Shiitake and other mushrooms like reishi have cholesterol-normalizing effects,” says Hobbs.

Can we take these benefits back to the kitchen? You bet. “Most mushrooms have to be cooked to release their health-giving benefits,” explains Hobbs.

Stamets concurs: “Cooking liberates mushroom nutrients from their matrix of cells. They are tenderized upon heating, making their nutrients bioavailable for digestion.”

Thankfully, finding these tasty superfood delicacies has become easier as entrepreneurial fresh-mushroom growers have emerged throughout the United States in recent years.

Case Adams is a California naturopath and author of 25 books on natural healing. Learn more at CaseAdams.com.

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Five Big Life Decisions Save Money and the Planet by Crissy Trask

Posted on 26 March 2014 by Jason

Every pivotal life decision, from choosing where we live to eating healthier, can support our best interests environmentally, as well. The good news is that it is possible to afford a sustainable way of life. Eco-friendly choices for housing, vehicles and food—generally perceived as expensive for the average individual or family—often are not only attainable when pursued in a thoughtful way, but can actually save us money compared to maintaining the conventional status quo.

Buying a Home

When considering a move to a new place, we often find out how much house we can manage and then proceed to invest to the hilt. But if hitting our spending limit will leave a deficit in the amount of green and healthy home features and furnishings we can achieve, we could end up with a residence that makes neither financial nor ecological sense, and isn’t good for our health. A solution is to scale back on costly square footage. Spending 25 to 40 percent less than we think we can on a smaller home provides more possibilities when planning the renovation budget, enabling us to create a home that is more deeply satisfying.

Nicole Alvarez, an architectural designer with Ellen Cassilly Architect, in Durham, North Carolina, who blogs at IntentionallySmall.com, says that if we value quality over quantity, place over space and living more intentionally in every aspect of our lives, we are ready for a small home. Occupying less space has profoundly influenced her daily life and happiness.

Alvarez has found, “When space is limited, everything has a function and a purpose. Everything has to be intentional. Over time, as you grow in the home, you make small modifications to personalize it more to adjust to your routine. You grow a strong bond with your home.”

Securing a much smaller dwelling than what we originally had designs on can lead to a lifetime of savings. With less space to furnish, heat, cool, light, clean and maintain, we can enjoy greater financial freedom, less stress and more time for fun.

Deciding Where to Live

Urban, suburban or rural, where we live incurs long-term repercussions on the natural environment. Choosing an established community within or close to an urban center tends to be more protective of air, water and land quality than living in a distant, car-dependent suburb, yet many families feel either drawn to or resigned to the suburbs for the lower housing prices.

But as Ilana Preuss, vice president at Washington, D.C.-based Smart Growth America, explains, “There is more to housing affordability than how much rent or mortgage we pay. Transportation costs are the second-biggest budget item for most families. In locations with access to few transportation choices, the combined cost of housing and transportation can be more than 60 percent of the total household budget. For families with access to a range of transportation choices, the combined cost can be less than 40 percent.”

In most suburbs, where the only practical transportation choice is a personal vehicle, dependency on a car takes a toll on us financially and physically. Driving a personal vehicle 15,000 miles a year can cost about $9,122 annually in ownership and operating expenses, according to AAA’s 2013 Your Cost of Driving study, and hours spent daily sitting behind the wheel being sedentary is eroding our health. Lack of transportation options is a leading detriment to the nation’s collective health, according to the federal agency Healthy People.

Sustainable cities provide many transportation options, including public buses and trains, car-sharing services and all forms of ride sharing; and perhaps most importantly, they are bike- and pedestrian-friendly. Choosing communities that make it possible to reduce driving and even go car-free much of the time can save us money, reduce stress and improve our health.

Choosing a Car

We know two primary facts about cars: They are expensive and those with internal combustion engines pollute during operation. Still, many of us need one. Reducing the total impact and burden of owning a car can be as simple as prioritizing fuel efficiency. It helps that fuel-sippers now come in more sizes than just small. Yet small subcompacts remain a good place to start our research because of their budget-friendly price and high fuel economy. A subcompact that averages 32 miles per gallon (mpg) and has a sticker price below $15,000 can save us so much money compared with a top-selling compact SUV—upwards of $16,000 over five years, according to Edmunds.com—that if we need a larger vehicle on occasion, we can more easily afford to rent one.

Hybrid electric vehicles (HEV), both small and midsized, can be an even better choice, averaging 41 mpg. Cost comparisons show that an HEV can save a heavily travelling city driver nearly $1,000 in fuel costs annually versus a comparably sized conventional gasoline-powered car. Although a 2014 midsized HEV has an average suggested retail price of $28,431, the category has been around long enough to create a market in previously owned vehicles. A used hybrid that is just two years old can cost up to 25 percent less than a new one.

Buying American

According to Consumer Reports, many shoppers prefer to buy products made in the USA, but with more than 60 percent of all consumer goods now produced oversees, finding American goods is not always easy.

The good news is that buying American doesn’t mean only buying American made. We back the U.S. economy and jobs when we purchase used items that have been renewed or repurposed by enterprising citizens. Creative reuse supports new and existing businesses that collect, clean, sort, recondition, refurbish, remanufacture, update, refinish, reupholster, repair, tailor, distribute and sell used parts, materials and finished goods.

Sarah Baird, director of outreach and communications of the Center for a New American Dream, an organization working to shift consumption away from wasteful trends, loves the history of used items. She says, “An item that has already lived one life has a story to tell, and is infinitely more interesting than anything newly manufactured.” Another reward is the big savings afforded by previously owned durable goods; not even America’s big-box discount retailers can beat these genuine bargains.

Of course, not everything is available in the used marketplace, but when it makes sense, we can proudly know that our purchase supports American ingenuity and workers.

Getting Healthy

Going green is healthy in innumerable ways, as Natural Awakenings’ contributors and readers attest to on an ongoing basis. In addition to driving less, banning toxic products from our household cupboards and dinner plates is another solid place to start on the road to improved well-being for us and the planet.

Toxic consumer products pollute the planet, from manufacture through use and disposal. They aren’t doing us any favors. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that the average human body now contains an estimated 700 industrial compounds, pollutants and other chemicals due to exposure to toxic consumer products and industrial chemicals. After researching proper local disposal of such hazards, replace them on future shopping forays with safer choices. It’s an investment in our health that can save untold pain and money and pay off big time in avoiding health problems ranging from cancer, asthma and chronic diseases to impaired fertility, birth defects and learning disabilities according to the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families Coalition.

To reduce exposure to the toxins that are commonly sprayed on conventional crops, select sustainable and organic versions of foods to prepare at home whenever possible. Such choices help keep both our bodies and the environment healthy and can be surprisingly affordable compared with eating out and consuming prepackaged convenience foods.

By substituting whole foods for prepared foods, cooking more meals at home and practicing good eating habits—like eating less meat and downsizing portions—the average person can enjoy high-quality food for $7 to $11 per day. This matches or falls below what the average American daily spends on food, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Considering that diet-related diseases can cost afflicted families thousands of dollars a year, better food choices can make us not only healthier, but wealthier, too.

Crissy Trask is the author of Go Green, Spend Less, Live Better. Connect at CrissyTrask.com.

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Pangjia.org Community Building Website Launches April 25

Posted on 26 March 2014 by Jason

PDX CRG image PandjiaPortland’s green community has been blazing trails of progressive examples for decades, generating solutions for a sustainable future. By spending at local independent stores compared to national chains, our money is four times more likely to stay and support our community.
Pangjia.org is a community building website with free membership, rewarding green living and positive action. Bridging communities digitally provides a platform for members to learn, teach and share solutions and ideas. With an art gallery, video library and music showcase, information and links on volunteering are available as well as the ability to find local businesses through their unique Green pages. They focus on local businesses and charities, with a listing for skills and needs in the community. Using social media to encourage healthy choices like growing our own food and collaborating within our community Gardens can largely affect our carbon footprint.
Pangjia’s launch party is April 25 at Odyssey (a sound and stage set), located at 521 North Tillamook, in Portland, by the Rose Quarter. The newly remodeled upcycled warehouse will be packed with entertainment including live music, a DJ and Sunshine Awakenings leading an open mic for nonprofits. There will be free entry, along with a canned food and sock drive which includes raffle prizes, local art to win, art auction, food, drinks and spirits. The social green mixer doors will open at 4:25 p.m, “West Rising,” a modern dance show by Rachel Slater Dance will begin at 7:30 p.m. “Party Age” 21 and over.
Email Pangjia13@gmail.com or visit Pangjai.org for more details.

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Experience the Touch of Awakening at the Movement Center PDX

Posted on 26 March 2014 by Jason

Shaktipat is an ancient technique for awakening consciousness through contact with a powerful energy resource. Shaktipat brings about a deep change in awareness. This change arouses your innermost potential, bringing you into contact with the freedom and creative power that is the source of everything.
Receiving shaktipat can bring benefits on all levels: increasing your vitality, releasing deeply held mental tensions, uplifting you emotionally, and expanding your consciousness. It begins a process of unfolding that can profoundly change your life.
Opportunities to experience authentic shaktipat are rare. The Movement Center is offering a program of shaktipat in Portland May 9 through 11. During this weekend, Swami Chetanananda (“Swamiji”) will be giving shaktipat individually to everyone present. He will use the classical method of “touch,” usually on the head or heart chakra, to awaken kundalini energy and begin a natural process of spiritual transformation.
The weekend begins with a free introduction on Friday, May 9 at 6:30 p.m. to explain more about the process of shaktipat and an energy-based meditation practice. The Saturday and Sunday programs include talks by Swamiji, guided meditation and shaktipat transmission.
American-born Swami Chetanananda founded The Movement Center community over 40 years ago and is its spiritual director. He is a master of kundalini meditation in the lineage of Bhagavan Nityananda. The author of numerous books on spiritual practice, he is known for making ancient traditions accessible and relevant to contemporary life.

For more information, call 503-231-0383 or visit TheMovementCenter.com

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Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Classes in the Comfort of Your Home

Posted on 26 March 2014 by Jason

Cascade Centers, Inc., a leading provider of Employee Assistance and Wellness programs, is offering a Mindfulness Practice Series through live video conferencing. Traditionally, mindfulness practice classes are provided in a group setting at one location. Cascade’s live Webinar format allows participants to experience the benefits of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and be a part of a meditation group, without travel time and within the comfort of their chosen location.
Cascade’s unique experience is a four-part series that also provides unlimited access to a Mindfulness coach, chat room membership for support and skill building, and weekly podcasts of mindfulness meditation practice. The total cost of this package is only $100. Classes are led by a licensed professional counselor with over ten years of meditation and training experience. The dates for this series are April 16, 23, 30 and May 7 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
For more information or to register, call 800-433-2320, text 503-980-1777, or email Info@CascadeCenters.com. CascadeCenters.com.

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Judith Orloff Book Talks in Portland

Posted on 26 March 2014 by Jason

NB Image  Judith Orloff Mar 14Dr. Judith Orloff will visit the Portland metro area to speak, meet readers and sign copies of her latest book, The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your Life, in two May events. She will be at Unity of Portland on May 4 for the 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. services along with a workshop being held from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. She will also appear at 7 p.m. on May 5 at Powell’s Bookstore in Beaverton.
An assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California-Los Angeles and intuitive healer, Orloff combines her training in conventional and alternative medicine in attesting that miraculous things happen when we stop pushing, controlling and trying so hard. Her new book is filled with strategies and solutions for surrendering anything that stands in the way of an extraordinary life, including stress, obsessive relationships, toxic people, money worries and fear of death.
Orloff dispels many outmoded ideas about health, aging, sex, power, beauty and money by showing that instead of defeat, surrender is the missing ingredient to success and bliss. It allows us to daily live in a passionate heart zone with faith in our self and the divinity of all life.
Of The Ecstasy of Surrender internationally renowned inspirational author Marianne Williamson says, “It takes you straight into the light: our surrender to a love and power greater than our own. Dr. Orloff nails it.”

Locations: Unity of Portland, 4525 SE Stark St., Portland. Call 503-234-7441 or visit UnityOfPortland.org. Powell’s Bookstore, 3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd., Beaverton. Call 503-228-4651 or visit Powells.com. Also visit DrJudithOrloff.com

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