Somatic Descent: Experiencing the Ultimate Intelligence of the Body

By Reginald A. Ray

Somatic Descent

Most of us sense that our bodies contain uncommon intelligence—we “feel it in our bones” or notice it in our “gut instincts.” But is there something far vaster here waiting to be experienced? With Somatic Descent, you are invited to tune into the natural wisdom of your body, refine and amplify it, and explore it fully.

In this program, pioneering teacher Dr. Reggie Ray presents a fascinating audio program on this rich dimension of Tibetan Buddhism: how to go beyond the veil of the thinking mind to tap the wondrous yet wholly trustworthy domain of your body.

Beyond Basic Mindfulness and into the Empowering Realms of the Soma

For those who've worked with basic breath and body-based meditations, this course will be a revelation: step-by-step guidance into some of the most transformative and powerful experiences charted by Buddhism's vast maps of consciousness.

Drawing on decades of teaching and scholarship, Reggie Ray shares a 13-CD curriculum of practices and insights to access the deepest knowing enfolded in the Soma, the landscape of your physical body and the source of immediate and greatest fulfillment.

With him, you will learn: how your body is a field of infinite wisdom, the origins of somatic descent practices and how they transform us on both the neurological and non-physical levels, many meditations for connecting with and embracing the Soma, and how to integrate these profound changes into your daily life.

• Your body as the field of infinite knowing
• How to explore the wisdom of the Soma
• Yin Breathing, Connecting with the Earth, and many other guided practices
• Over 13 hours of investigation into the somatic dimensions of awakening

Why Children Love Dirt

Why Children Love Dirt

By Monique Rodriquez
It is a question that many parents have asked themselves: "Why does my child love playing with dirt?" One plain and simple answer may be: children love the way dirt smells and feels. Another down to earth answer could be: children play with dirt because as an element very close to the composition of their very own bodies, they are instinctively attracted to it......

Fault Line

Fault Line

Fault Line, by J. R. Morton

Victoria and Tony never understood their disapproving mother, Amanda, who even now offers them little warmth. On her deathbed, Amanda extracts a promise from her daughter: She will guide Victoria on an unexpected journey into her past if in return, Victoria helps her die with physician-assisted suicide.

It begins with a story that is unlike anything Victoria has heard before, where she will discover secrets so shocking, it shakes the foundation of her family and changes her perception of who she believes she is.

A captivating and forbidden love story that spans almost fifty years and moves from war torn London to Auschwitz to the United States emerges in a vividly emotional tale that brings one family together in ways that none could have expected.

As Victoria gets to know her mother’s story, Tony stumbles across letters written by his father, Edward, and uncovers a truth so terrible that everything comes into question. After trying to escape the shadow of his father’s death, Tony discovers a long-buried and shameful secret Edward had kept, causing him to question the assumptions and expectations he’s made about his life and his family.

When does a moral choice become a moral imperative? And where does one draw the line between punishment, forgiveness and mercy?

Fault Line is an honest novel that explores the lengths we will go in order to protect our family and to keep the past from dictating the future. Evocative, thought provoking, and uplifting; this is the story that will stay with you long after the last page is turned.

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The Power of Silence in Retreat

Grand Teton Mountains

By Scott Masciarelli

Four years ago - to the month - I embarked on a transition which would become "my life experience." I retired from a long corporate career and left behind not only work I knew for over 24 years but a family, friends and lifestyle. The decision to take the early retirement was easy as I had been considering it for quite a while. I knew that this was a major turning point in my life so, as such, I recall wanting to do things differently. At the prompting of a good friend who said "come join a silent retreat I'm going to."

I thought, how bizarre, a silent retreat? What were we going to do? Why would I want to do such a thing, pay money and invest one week of my life in something called a silent retreat? I didn't know any of those answers but the one thing I did know was that I wanted to create a definite line between what was and what will be. This seemed so off the wall that it was the perfect way to create that distinction.

Five days after retiring I landed in stunning, sunny Jackson Hole and met the 13 others with whom I would be sharing a multi-million dollar mansion with in silence for the coming week. The rules of the retreat were simple, we could only speak in our sacred group meeting room (all seated in a circle) from 10a to 12n and then from 4p to 6p. The topics during those hours were whatever surfaced at that time. Trust was a keyword during this experience.

All other time together in the home was in strict silence. OK, there was the occasional whisper "please cut the onion or pass the butter" but for the majority of our time mum was the word. We lived together, cooked together and dined together all in silence. It was beautiful. There was no pressure, no stress, no wonder and no questions to ask. What was present was peace and connection at a very deep soul level.

Interestingly it was not until the final night, during our farewell dinner, that we could break the silence in the home. It was that evening we learned what each person did for a profession and where they were from. The result was anti-climactic at best. It didn't really matter to me that there were some influential people in our group. We had become so close at the soul level that all of the other "stuff" was not even remotely important.

What was important that was that for each of us healing began in a way that we did not know. Some of us didn't know why we were there but we soon found out. I became violently ill during my stay and for over 24 hours was with fever. Our facilitator advised me that I was releasing all of the toxins of my corporate life. I firmly believe this and once I passed through that phase the bizarre retreat took on an entirely different meaning for me; one of purification, wholeness welcoming a new beginning.
It was a powerful week in the dramatic Teton Mountains of Jackson Hole, Wyoming with people who I would never see again. The clarity, peace and completeness received were far more than I ever envisioned when I signed up.

Fast forward four years and I am having a similar silent retreat. This time not because I signed up for one, but because I became ill, then during the recovery lost my voice. Not being able to speak has made it incredibly easy to be silent. Further, if there was a time for a perfect storm it is now and its name is Jonas. The blizzard of 2016 which has pounded the east coast of the United States and dumped over 33 inches (87cm) of fluffy white snow on my hometown in Virginia. For the entire weekend that also made it very easy to stay inside, slow down, reflect and be silent.

I am marveling at what a phenomenal three days this has been in my home, relaxing, focused, reflecting and taking care of little projects that I have put off for many months and years. The snow demanded that we all stay inside since the conditions were too severe to venture outside and roads needed to be kept clear for snow removal and emergency vehicles. I welcomed this and embraced my homestay as a chance to simply be.

The power of silence can be found right at home or at a structured retreat. I have found both extremely beneficial and encourage you to practice silence as often as you can. Embrace the peace, release the need to speak and simply be. Name it as a daylong silent retreat or join a retreat. However you choose to embrace silence I am confident you will enjoy the peaceful results.

Scott Masciarelli, PCC,BCC is a Global Leadership coach and trainer and multilingual avid world traveler. He partners with executives and expatriates to support both their personal and professional leadership growth. Scott's clients achieve success on their terms.

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Impress Your Dinner Guests With This Recipe From the Movie 'Burnt'

If you have not yet seen the movie, Burnt, then you should.
If you are a foodie in any way it is a must-see movie.
And if you are planning a dinner party with friends who are movie buffs
then here is an opportunity to impress them
with this recipe from the movie starring Bradley Coooper
that has been a huge hit among both movie-goers and foodies....

Water Ghosts

Water Ghosts

Water Ghosts, by Linda Collison

Water Ghosts is a nautical adventure, a story of the supernatural, and a trip into imperial China of long ago. James, a 15-year-old with a troubled past, must survive a disastrous voyage on a junk which he believes is under the control of malicious forces. Yu, the ghost of a young eunuch who drowned at sea centuries earlier, finds his way inside James’ head. When the ship is becalmed, communications fail. One by one the adults aboard come to a bad end. Yu, intent on trading places with James, tells him of his own short, tragic life. As James tries to save his shipmate Ming, an Asian-American girl, so Yu tried to rescue the beautiful concubine Lotus from being buried alive in the emperor’s tomb, more than seven hundred years before. With St. Elmo’s fire flickering over the ill-fated junk Good Fortune, the ghosts of Yu and Lotus strive to live again through James and his shipmates.

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Sand and Ceremony

Sand and Ceremony

Sand and Ceremony, by Jerry Leake

 In this novel of self-discovery, Boston percussionist Dale Jackson travels to Ghana to study two music traditions. He unwittingly becomes involved in ancient juju ceremonies that directly impact not only his sojourn to Africa, but also affect his life back home.

Dale’s musical, cultural, and spiritual journey takes him from the tropical coast where the rituals occur, to the arid northern city of Tamale, where strange events threaten to overwhelm him. The dry Sahara winds of the harmattan are the least of Dale’s worries as he confronts psychic attacks, haunting spirits, and visions of the dark events that he must face upon his return home.

Divided into three distinct sections, Sand and Ceremony places the reader into Dale’s unique world, where unknown aspects of the natural and supernatural are fully revealed.

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