What’s new? Our Merging with Divine Consciousness: Jan 9-15th! This special journey will take place in the southern Mayan Yucatan and will celebrate Sri Amma Bhagavan’s wish that as “…as we move into 2012 itself, we will begin to gather together—meditating and sharing the (Oneness) Blessing—and taking advantage of certain planetary energies to enter into higher states of consciousness.“ Whether in India or Mexico – the same idea exists that we embrace self-realization and divine consciousness. Email me if you are interested (this will fill quickly).
**As a reminder: this is the last second to sign up for HAVASUPAI FALLS and PERU. Also – if you would like to join us for DAY OF THE DEAD and BHUTAN, registration is NOW.
This month’s article is: CONFRONTATION VS CONVERSATION? – do let me know what you think by posting your comments below (they won’t show up until approved) and please Tweet us to others!
I want to know where YOU want to go for your next spiritual journey or retreat! Please help me help create the perfect journey for you by taking a moment to answer this TRAVEL SURVEY. Thank you!!
Also, please don’t forget about Ales – he is always ready to help you with your personal travel needs!
LAST SECOND TO REGISTER!
HAVASUPAI FALLS GRAND CANYON: Living Fearlessly – September 8-13th, 2010
The focus and intent of our Havasupai Falls retreat with Sheri Rosenthal is to transcend any fears we have about what we can or cannot accomplish in our lives. Cradled within the depths of the Grand Canyon and the heart of the mother earth – she will help us find our peace and clarity. We’ll hike, swim in travertine pools of turquoise blue, meditate, journal and participate in ceremony together.
This journey will leave you with a sense of accomplishment, awe and a true appreciation and love of the grandest places on earth. 2010 trip cost is: $2095.00 USD pp double occ, most meals included. Details for Havasupai Falls here!
LAST CALL – REGISTRATION IS NOW!
ZION NATIONAL PARK: Art & Spirit Painting Retreat – October 23-27th, 2010
Unleash your creative spirit amidst the breathtaking beauty of Zion National Park. Through guided visualizations, meditation and dreamwork, shamanic artist Linda Jacobson will help you access your artistic vision. Through personalized individual guidance and group demonstrations of art techniques you’ll learn to express your personal imagery inspired by the extraordinary beauty of the landscape.
In this workshop you will create free flowing spontaneous imagery, draw from nature and develop sketches into finished works. You will learn about color, paint handling and composition through discussions and demonstrations of acrylic, watercolor and pastel techniques. No prior art experience necessary – everyone is welcome, beginning and advanced artists. The 2010 trip cost is: $995.00 USD per person, double occupancy. Details for Zion here!
NEXT FREE TELECLASS!
September 15th 8:30pm eastern, 5:30 pacific: Join Sheri and Linda Jacobson as they chat about Art & Spirit, and what that means to us and our creative life process! Linda is the incredible woman running our Zion Nation Park retreat – and she’ll have some very interesting information to share! Don’t miss this special dialogue.
DID YOU MISS ONE OF OUR TELECLASSES?
If you missed any of the previous teleclasses you can listen them on the library page of my website.
NEED SOME CLARITY & A NEW POINT OF VIEW?
Join me in 2010 for a personal intensive! These intensives will take place in my town-home in St Petersburg, Florida (yes, the location has changed!). It’s a lovely place to take time to reflect upon your life and walking on the beach is beautiful and peaceful. You will stay here (or at a hotel on the beach) during your intensive and have access to the kitchen and your own bedroom. Figure we’ll spend around 3 hours together in the morning and then you’ll do your assignments in the afternoon. Then we’ll catch back up for 1-2 hours in the evening to re-cap. Details here.
LOCAL MEETINGS IN ST PETE, FL RESUMING!
Join us for lively discussion and like-minded community September 7th and 20th 7-9:00pm! We work together to create a dream of love and respect in our lives using the Toltec technique of mirroring. In this way we can see ourselves more clearly and confront those beliefs that have been holding us back from creating a dream of loveliness in our lives. Want to join us? Call or email Sheri. The tuition/suggested donation is $10.00.
>Back to top
CONFRONTATION OR CONVERSATION?
One of humanity’s biggest fears is that of confrontation. So often when feeling like someone is in our face, we don’t speak our feelings and then we’re angry afterward. Our anger can then manifest as passive-aggressive behavior. But truly it’s not about dealing with our behavior or learning to speak up that’s the underlying issue – it’s what we believe about confrontation.
Impeccability of the word is the key to creating a beautiful and healthy life dream. So it behooves us to look at the word confrontation since we create our reality with the word. A common definition is: An open conflict of opposing ideas, forces, creeds, etc. When we feel like someone is raising their voice to us, disagreeing with us, getting angry or doing their best to make us feel small – we call that confrontation.
Now let’s look at the word conversation. A common definition is: An interchange of thoughts, information, etc., by spoken words; oral communication between persons; talk. Here we are referring to an exchange of ideas, it doesn’t matter if they are opposing or not – as this definition implies that the communication is non-aggressive.
What makes conversation aggressive is our attachment to concepts. When we believe that we’re right and we’re willing defend our beliefs, thought forms, points of views and opinions to the point of anger – that’s mental slavery. We’re being ruled by what we believe and anything that doesn’t align with what we believe frightens us. The structure of our ego-mind is shaking and we’ll do anything to protect that structure.
George Barnard Shaw once said; “Our ideals like the Gods of old, are constantly demanding sacrifices.” Shaw’s got a good point – as soon as you start to defend your point of view you are at war. Of course concepts cannot fight a war, only humans can, and they’re the ones who are going to be sacrificed. It’s scary to think the mind can be so attached to its beliefs that it will project its anger out at others and even harm them to protect those concepts!
Human consciousness expands when we share ideas without attachment. People die when we want to be right and protect our ego mind’s structure. When someone starts arguing with you, understand that there’s no confrontation at all – you’re simply dealing with a frightened person projecting anger, it has nothing to do with you. Confrontation can only occur when two sets of ideals are in conflict. When you no longer need to defend your mental structure the whole concept of confrontation no longer is truth.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t express your point of view in life. I am only suggesting that you share it without attachment knowing that there is nothing to be afraid of if someone does not agree with you. Have compassion for the person who is making him or herself ill defending a concept that they are so attached to. Speak your peace, detach and let go.
Truly, there is only conversation, and it is up to you to create that reality based on where you place your faith. It’s your choice – you can put your faith in conversation and uphold the expansion of consciousness or you can put your faith in confrontation and the conflict of rigidly held beliefs and points of view that you are too scared of detaching from. I don’t know about you, but I know where I’m placing my faith!
With all my love, Sheri
Art Is a Spiritual Path
Art is a spiritual path—not a religion, but a practice that helps us knit together the ideals and convictions that guide our lives. Creating art can be prayer, ritual, and remembrance of the Divine. And the sharing of this creativity with others in small groups can serve as sanctuary, asylum, ashram, therapy group, think tank, and village square. Pat Allen has developed a reliable guide for walking the path of art through a series of simple practices that combine drawing, painting, and sculpture with journal writing.
Detailed examples from the author’s own practice of art, plus the stories and images of several other people, are presented to illustrate how art becomes a spiritual path in action. At the author’s virtual studio, www.patballen.com, readers can post their images and writings, communicate with the author, and subscribe to an electronic newsletter. The site also contains an archive of the images in this book in full color. Pick up a copy today: Art Is a Spiritual Path When you purchase a book through Amazon.com a small percentage of your dollars come back to JOTS to support our free teleclass series.
SPIRITUAL CINEMA CIRCLE
If You Love Movies, You Are About to Be Inspired AND Entertained!
When you join Spiritual Cinema Circle you will be making an important contribution to your world. You are encouraging talented, visionary filmmakers to continue in their efforts to add life and meaning to our movies and to raise the consciousness of the world by supporting and experiencing truly nourishing entertainment.
This month – The Living Matrix: Why does the placebo effect work, and how can we access this self-healing ability of the body? Discover the new science of healing as Bruce Lipton, Lynne McTaggart, Edgar Mitchell, and other leading researchers and health practitioners explain how quantum physics, energy fields and consciousness directly affect our health and well-being. Could we be more powerful than we ever imagined?
In What Goes Around (U.S. & Canada): Alex, a real estate agent, lives in the shadow of the debts he piled up during the happy days of the 21st century. He sees life as an endless struggle against all he abhors — ignorant baristas, pop music and grammatical mistakes — and he alienates his family with his “honesty” and impatience. Now Alex must battle his callous personality in a divine game show in order to win back his life after a car crash.
Great news from our friends at Spiritual Cinema Circle – you can receive this full feature film plus 3 great short films for FREE when you sign up for a trial membership at no charge. ($4.95 US shipping fee applies, $7.95 international). This is the only DVD service dedicated to films about love, compassion and inspiration: one of the many reasons we wanted you to know about them. Cancel your membership at any time ($21.00 per month). Join the Circle today! When you join Spiritual Cinema Circle a small percentage of your dollars come back to JOTS to support our free teleclass series.
~TASTY SEPTEMBER SOJOURNS~
HAVASUPAI FALLS – Grand Canyon: Living Fearlessly
Trip Leader: Sheri Rosenthal
September 8-13th, 2010
~BOLD OCTOBER EXPEDITIONS~
PERU & MACHU PICCHU: Andean Mysteries
Trip Leaders: Carol Rydell & Romulo Castilla
Oct. 21-31th, 2010
ZION NATIONAL PARK, Art & Spirit Painting Retreat
Trip Leader: Linda Jacobson
October 23-27th, 2010
DAY OF THE DEAD, Oaxaca Mexico: A Celebration of Life!
Trip Leaders: Sheri Rosenthal
October 30th-November 7th, 2010
~DELICIOUS DECEMBER JOURNEYS~
TEOTIHUACÁN, MEXICO: Un Viaje de Sanacion
Trip Leader: Millie Muñoz
8 al 13 de diciembre del 2010
BHUTAN: Blessings of the Heart, Meditation & Service
Trip Leader: Sheri Rosenthal
December 9-21st, 2010
~HEART-WARMING JANUARY ADVENTURES~
MAYAN RIVIERA: Merging With Divine Consciousness (Deeksha/Oneness Blessing)
Trip Leader: Charlene Proctor & Sheri Rosenthal
January 9-15th, 2011
~REFRESHING FEBRUARY RETREATS~
PATAGONIA ARGENTINA: Communion, Integration & Transcendence
Trip Leader: Sheri Rosenthal
Feb 19-26th, 2011
BAJA MEXICO: Majestic Grey Whales – Whale Watching
Trip Leader: Susan Gregg
February 9-14th, 2011
TEPOZTLÁN, MEXICO: Sacred Valley of Magic & Mysticism
Trip Leader: Susan Gregg
February 14-19th, 2011
~SUCCULENT MARCH VOYAGES~
EGYPT: Bridging Levels of Consciousness
Trip Leader: Samvedam Randles
March 3-13th, 2011
CARTAGENA, COLOMBIA: Atmanada Yoga’s Mind Body Spirit Retreat
Trip Leader: Jhon Tamayo
March 5-11th, 2011
ISRAEL: Liberating the Divine Mystic Within
Trip Leaders: Paul Rademacher & Sheri Rosenthal
March 19-29th, 2011
MAKING EVERY TRIP A SPECIAL JOURNEY
We’re at the end of August here in British Colombia and I can smell autumn already! Somehow I feel this year speeding by – maybe it’s just because folks are planning their Christmas vacations already (I’m planning mine too). Whatever the reason, it has me reflecting on the hopes, dreams and intent I set in motion back in January. I feel a deep sense of gratitude for everything that happened and all that is to come.
Most of all I have gratitude for myself and the way I have taken care of myself in the mist of the chaos of life this year. Every day at work I’ve made time to meditate and reflect. At night I take an evening walk, thanking the universe for the gifts of the day.
The trips I’ve taken this year, both with my son and by myself, have been powerful opportunities to stay present and in the moment and to celebrate the perfection of life.
When traveling, I make sure that I always have time put aside to connect with myself and my surroundings – to center myself and clear my mind. Even the simple choice to take a suite over a standard room recently was a gift to myself – allowing me to rejuvenate during my travels with my son and his friends. I have come to realize that every trip is a spiritual journey and it is only my perspective that makes it otherwise.
My suggestion is, no matter what the purpose of your travels, try to listen to yourself and always include something that inspires your body, mind and spirit. If you make the effort to do so, every trip you take will become a special one and you will feel lighter, clearer, more at peace, nourished and inspired!
Whether near or far, every place we visit and each journey we take brings us closer to who we are – as long as we travel with awareness, an open mind and heart. If you need suggestions as to how to turn a business trip or family adventure into a spiritual journey – ask me! I am happy to assist you in finding gratitude and inspiration in every travel experience you have.
With love & blessings, Ales Stuna, Director of Custom Travel
WHAT I LOVE – LOVE – LOVE THIS MONTH!
Take a moment to watch this video!
Behavioral economist Dan Ariely, the author of Predictably Irrational, uses classic visual illusions and his own counter-intuitive (and sometimes shocking) research findings to show how we’re not as rational as we think when we make decisions.
Take a few minutes to watch this and post what you think below!
Ariely has long been fascinated with how emotional states, moral codes and peer pressure affect our ability to make rational and often extremely important decisions in our daily lives – across a spectrum of our interests, from economic choices (how should I invest?) to personal (who should I marry?). At Duke, he’s aligned with three departments (business, economics and cognitive neuroscience); he’s also a visiting professor in MIT’s Program in Media Arts and Sciences and a founding member of the Center for Advanced Hindsight. His hope that studying and understanding the decision-making process can help people lead better, more sensible daily lives. (Gosh I hope so too!)
Words of Wisdom for the Heart
“You need the practice of mindfulness to bring your mind back to the body and establish yourself in the moment. If you are fully present, you need only make a step or take a breath in order to enter the kingdom of God. And once you have the kingdom, you don’t need to run after objects of your craving, like power, fame, sensual pleasure, and so on. Peace is possible. Happiness is possible. And this practice is simple enough for everyone to do. Suppose you are drinking a cup of tea. When you hold your cup, you may like to breathe in, to bring your mind back to your body, and you become fully present. And when you are truly there, something else is also there—life, represented by the cup of tea. In that moment you are real, and the cup of tea is real. You are not lost in the past, in the future, in your projects, in your worries. You are free from all of these afflictions. And in that state of being free, you enjoy your tea. That is the moment of happiness, and of peace.”
~ Thich Nhat Hanh