Saturday, June 12, 2010

Reiki Levels – Getting The Timing Right — uclbog.com

Reiki Levels – Getting The Timing Right — uclbog.com:
"As such, we need to stop being greedy. We need to put the ego aside and stop worrying about how we will appear in the eyes of the world. Because when we come to heal either ourselves or another, the only thing that matters is the quality of our Reiki, not the quality of our Reiki tag."
I simply had to share this because it is a very interesting article that flies in the face of much of what is being done with Reiki at this time.

Writing Yourself Happy

Writing Yourself Happy
To be honest, I feel that "happiness" is being touted too much of late. I also think the concept is highly over-rated. However, I love journaling and this writer, in spite of many grammatical and spelling errors, shares an interesting "homework" exercise for journaling and I wanted to pass it along.
Try not to cringe too much as you read through the mistakes.
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Should I or Shouldn't I?

Seems like all the cool kids I know are thinking about zines.  I know I am.  So when I found out about the 24 Hour Zine Thing I knew I had to share.

So what are the really cool kids doing?  I don't know.  I have a feeling none of them will be making a zine in July in a single day, however.

(This site has some links to samples:  http://rockscissorspaper.org/24hz.htm
And apparently this is a video that follows a 24 Hour Zine Thing Event but my computer simply wasn't cooperating:  http://www.google.com/search?aq=f&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=zine+challenge)

PS:  Seriously, I need to get a job soon or I am going to implode with the inanity of my life.

Friday, June 11, 2010

I Won't Even Make a Comment

This speaks for itself.

Infrastructures

Friday Randomness--It's Visual

I think this is a great idea.  What fun!  Or is it just me?  The idea--take a contemporary photograph and overlay a photograph from history and . . . voila!
http://www.historypin.com/

Bicycles at Bank Station

This artists shares some really lovely watercolors she does.  I don't know what it is but her use of color is enchanting in my opinion.  Yes, I can see flaws in some of the portraits--an asymmetry that has yet to be mastered.  But still . . . technique will come with practice and who am I, the non-drawing type, to judge?
http://drawn2life.wordpress.com/



And I've shared zentangles before.  This one was done by two people and I thought that sounded like fun because one person would do a section and could then pass it to the other person who would add something, probably unexpected, before returning it to the first person and . . .well, you get the idea.

collar


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Five More Children's Books



This one is a cute one.  Great images.  But over all . . . hmmm . . . not sure.  I mean, I'm not sure I would want to read this night after night to a child.  And children, when they fall in love with a story, want it read to them over and over again.  (This serves a psychological purpose, according to Bruno Bettelheim.)

But I wouldn't want to read this book more than once no matter how amusing the illustrations may be.  Nor do I feel the relationship between the mouse and the rabbit is something I would want rehearsed in my child's mind.

I'm being nit picky.  I know.




This book was/is such a surprise.

I figured, "Blah.  Three little pigs.  Been there.  Read that.  NEXT!"

Big mistake!  This book is a delight!  I would save it for older children, those who have been read to for several years, who are already reading independently.  Having some literary context for the events that occur in this book helps a lot to further enhance the overall (and inevitable) appreciation of this unique interpretation of a "tried and true" story.

In many ways, this is a meta-fiction and should be approached as such.


Unfortunately, this book is doomed to be dated.  It already is.  Ending with the presidency of George Bush Sr, there are bits of trivia that simply are no longer true.

But what a fun wealth of information.  Tidbits about many presidents are shared in a manner that invites more exploration.

A clever parent could easily flesh this book out, reading other books along with this one to dig deeper into some of the details.  American history can easily be taught through and around this book--from the architecture of the White House to the various men who have served our country as its leader to the historical context into which each was elected.  What a treasure!  Perhaps the publisher will ask the author and artist to write a revised/updated version.

I love the simple black & white graphics and the highly stylized look of this book.  The story is precious, not complicated but not so boring one wouldn't want to share it with their child more than once.

It reminded me of when I was a little girl and would marvel at how the moon would follow me when we were riding on a bus, heading toward home.  I thought the moon was playing hide and seek with me, peeping out from between the buildings and then disappearing again only to manifest again a block later.

Plus I like cats.  I grew up with cats.

I like the moon.  I like cats.  And I like milk.  I like this book for subjective reasons.


This book is a pleasant surprise although I don't  know if children will enjoy it nearly as much as I did.

I am old enough to remember when Phillippe Petit managed to sneak to the top of the World Trade Center Towers and string a rope between them which he then walked across, back and forth, horrifying and amusing the masses who watched below.

I was not one of the masses but in my preadolescence I could recognize an iconoclastic moment and feel delighted.  The truth is, I resented the towers because they were taking away from the magnificence of the Empire State Building.  Back then the ESB was only lit in a snowy white and it's glow and height were as close as I would ever get to a snow-capped mountain.

Now it seems impossible to believe that such a feat was possible.  We have fallen so far from an innocence that I hardly imagined I would ever associate with the decadence of the 70s and yet here we are . . .

This book celebrates a single moment in Manhattan's history.  It also serves as an homage to a place that no longer exists.  Subjectively speaking yet again, I think this book is a treasure.

Bibi Dancing

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Pain Before Pleasure – My Journey into Reiki | Harmony and Holistic Living

Pain Before Pleasure – My Journey into Reiki | Harmony and Holistic Living:
"I had created this pain for a purpose, so I set out to find what I needed to do to resolve it. I addressed issues with family and friends over the following months, which yielded numerous positive outcomes, yet the pain still remained. I performed Time-Line Therapy and self-hypnosis, releasing many things but still the pain remained."
Ever since my Master attunement, I've had a pain in my abdomen. I don't know that I believe in a lot of the esoteric stuff that sort of attaches itself to Reiki teachings but perhaps I need to learn some other things to figure out why my stomach hurts.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Google Bans Microsoft Windows Company-Wide

Google Bans Microsoft Windows Company-Wide

I've switched most of my stuff from everywhere else to google. All things considered, perhaps switching to Apple isn't a bad idea as well. Given my computer history and all.

Tuesday Morning Adventure

This morning, when I went to take the dogs out, Snowdoll was being utterly uncooperative and not in her usual "Catch me if you can" way.  Instead, she was bouncing around the kitchen.

Why?

File:Troglodytes aedon 2.jpg
Because we had a House Wren (aka troglodytes aedon) which was flying back and forth.  I managed to lure Snowdoll out of the kitchen and sent her and Romanov outside while I tried to find the bird.

It was gone.

Hmmmm . . .

Now the question is, of course, how did it get inside the house in the first place.  That shall obviously remain a mystery.  (Another mystery to ponder is, why was I more frightened at the thought that it might be a large butterfly or enormous moth than I was at the idea a bat had managed to find its way into the house?)

If you go to the wikipedia site link above, you can listen to its song which is rather pretty.

But apparently they aren't very nice birds and most people do not welcome them, especially into their homes. I made my coffee and the dogs and I were settled down for our usual morning routine.  I assumed the bird had flown out the door without my noticing.  (It was morning.  Before my morning coffee. You would be amazed at what I can overlook under those circumstances!)

Apparently, it had not.  I soon heard a scuffling noise from Rob's desk area and the bird emerged.  I scooted Romanov into the bedroom, closed the guest bedroom door on Snowdoll (who was under the guest bed where she likes to hide), and opened the front door to encourage the bird to find its own way out.  Easier said than done but eventually and inevitably done.  (I had oh-so-cleverly grabbed my cup of coffee and had it snugly with me as I watched and waited.)

First it flew across the living room to the table we have near the door.  I waited.  I waited some more.  I walked across the kitchen and ssssslllllllooooooowwwwwwlllllyyyyyy moved towards the bird.  Voila!  It flew out the front door.

So that was my morning and my morning adventure.  I still have to finish my morning coffee.

God is No Laughing Matter by Julia Cameron


God Is No Laughing Matter:  Observations and Objections on the Spiritual Path by Julia Cameron is a book I sincerely wanted to like.  After adoring one of her books and not especially liking another, I anticipated that this would at least be potentially be a book I would enjoy.  The blurb says it’s a “witty, powerfully honest, and irreverent look at the culture of ‘spirituality’.” 

First, I didn’t find it very witty.  I found it more . . . whatever.  I dunno.  Here are two quotes I copied down that I suppose were supposed to be either witty or irreverent:
I would say that spiritual experiences are a lot like orgasms.  Any kind is nice, and most of us manage some of them.  (98)
I’m saying that great sex and sometimes even pretty blah sex can still make you think there’s a god and you’ve just gone to heaven.  (110)
 I didn’t laugh.  I didn’t even find these things any more irreverent than the sexual imagery that mystics have used for centuries in describing the union with God.  I commend Cameron for leaving no spiritual stone unturned, confronting almost all spiritual paths with an occasionally brutal backhanded slap. 

Ultimately, I don’t think I’m the audience for this book.  I wasn’t raised in a spiritual home so her stories about growing up in a Catholic home and going to a Catholic school are too typical.  Nuns are mean, unless you are lucky and there’s that one cool sister and isn’t there always one cool sister out there?  And the sexual tension of crushing on the few priests in the community is predictable.  Cameron shares about her addiction and twelve step programs but anyone who has read any of her other books already knows most of what she has to say here.  Buddhists are not happy or smiling but statues of Buddha show him far less bitter than all those hostile believers. 

I don’t know.  I guess for someone who grew up and feels abused by some childhood belief system, this book has something to offer.  Mostly I thought it was fluff.  Irreverent is fine but irrelevant is not exactly inspiring.  At this rate, I may stop reading Cameron altogether and just continue to praise The Artist’s Way.  I would hate to read and dislike more of her books lest I end up diminishing my estimation of the one and only one that I like so very much.

Monday, June 07, 2010

My New Phone: Samsung Gravity 2

Samsung Gravity 2:
"New Samsung Phones – Samsung Gravity 2 takes excellent pictures that are editable and texting is a breeze with the Qwerty keyboard, no matter if you hold the phone upright or sideways the screen will adjust to meet your needs."
Samsung Gravity 2 cell phone

The Samsung Gravity 2 (SGH-t469) features include a 2.0 megapixel camera, a horizontal slide-out QWERTY keyboard, full browsing experience, a built-in MP3 player and expandable memory up to 16GB, Web-enabled with web2go and the Gravity 2 comes in two color options – berry mauve and metallic pumpkin. I love the T-mobile Gravity 2 and all of its features.
Samsung Gravity 2 cell phone

The Secret Life of Water by Masaru Emoto


I finished a rather ridiculous book yesterday, The Secret Life of Water by Masaru Emoto.  He is rather famous in New Age circles for “proving” that water is affected by thoughts. Although he admits that his methods are not scientific, he tries to defend his “logical conclusions” by interpreting his results through other scientific theories and facts. 

How does one justify one’s own unscientific process by applying scientific principles proven through the very same scientific methods you yourself are not using?  It makes no sense to me.

I would have been more interested in what he had to say if he had simply said that what he believes is not scientifically proven and requires a leap of faith.  Even if he were to suggest, as he does in this book, that science has not yet caught up with the subtle ways in which the universe works, I could buy that.  But because he makes this last argument in the context of his justifying his unscientific process, I simply find it all ridiculous. 

Nevertheless, his argument is intriguing.  He suggests that when water is exposed to loving or gracious thoughts it responds by forming crystals that are lovely.  When water is exposed to hostile or angry thoughts, the crystals formed are not balanced or well formed.  Of course, he admits that there is no precision used to photograph these frozen crystals.  If you cannot properly time when the photograph is taken how can I, the reader, rely upon the image’s outcome?  And when he shares the process that they use for choosing the exemplary crystal, the one photo they will use to say “this is how the crystal looks” I have to further question the whole thing. 

I won’t even bother arguing how there are ways to take photographs of crystals using resources that won’t cause the water to melt back into liquid form but whatever.  Like I said—he doesn’t care that his methods are unscientific.

But I digress.  So he believes and contends that we humans, made up of mostly water ourselves, are affected by the thoughts of others.  Our prayers are healing and the energy we put out in the universe touches others.  When someone has hurt us and we feel anger towards them, even if they are far away they can feel it.  (He tries to draw on quantum physics but it amuses me how often people in the New Age movement will use something as difficult to explain or even comprehend to support what they are trying to teach.  If the New Age person were a quantum physicist, I may find it a more compelling argument but everyone I know who understands these things even slightly better than I can rip massive holes through the defense using the truth of quantum physics and not just the interpretations of the truths, if you know what I mean.)

The thing is, I don’t know whether what he is saying is true or not.  I think his methods are laughable and taint his theory to the point of making it indefensible.  Like I said, had he kept it as “a matter of faith” I would have been more on board with the whole thing.  I can see where what he is saying dovetails easily with the idea of energy. 

Of course, if you believe in the power of prayer, it is not impossible to make the necessary leap of faith, even if you don’t believe in a god to whom you are praying but simply putting out the visualization to manifest something—a healing, a blessing, whatever.  And if this is something in which one believes, it is no small step to believe that these same thoughts can ripple (no pun intended) into the very cellular makeup of the body.  In other words, the water that makes up the self can be influenced by thoughts.

If this were true, then what a person thinks has a power and an impact upon others beyond our own comprehension.  It reminds me of something Jesus Christ said, about how to say you hate another person is to commit murder in the heart.  So I don’t know.  I wish the author had been less inclined to apply science as a defensive argument and just let his theory be what it is—pretty and unproven but possibly applicable.  And if he is right about science not yet having the resources to prove what he believes to be true, something I find a little hard to swallow myself, then perhaps someday the scientific community will catch up. 

Wow.  For a book I consider ridiculous, I sure did write a lot about it.  I suppose, ridiculous or not, I think it is at least intriguing.  Like a lovely by a lovely dancer who perhaps doesn’t have precise technique and stumbles at the end of the performance.  And I just love it when someone uses quantum physics to prove a point when 1) they themselves are not a quantum physicist, 2) they are not even a scientist, and 3) there are scientists and quantum physicists who are saying the person is a hack. 

And still, people will believe.  Regardless.