Book Review: Autobiography of a Yogi

Book Reviews, Features

feature photoImagine transcending all physical laws and entering into the ethereal world. In this sphere, you are able to be at two places at one time, see into people’s minds, and even walk through walls. You may levitate, disappear in one area of the world and reappear in another, or create something from nothing. This only happens in fantastical movies right?

Not according to sage Paramhansa Yogananda. In his timeless autobiography of a yogibook, Autobiography of a Yogi, Yogananda invites us into an endearing adventure of his life as a yogi. From infancy into his old age, he blesses us with the gift of a spiritual journey so few ever have dreamed of. Not only does he lend us his life’s perspective, but he graciously takes us to the very heart of the some of India’s most enlightened masters.

The Autobiography of a Yogi is a spiritual masterpiece, teaching enlightenment through Kriya yoga meditation; Yogananda blesses us with a candid glimpse into the culture of India, yet quietly and unobtrusively unites the world’s religions into singleness of heart and mind.

Translated into several languages, and world-wide acclaimed, you do not want to miss out on this exceptional read. This book has the potential to open up your heart and mind to unimaginable realms.

Coming to theaters in August, 2014

Review written by Liz Ann

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Enchantment Through Art: An Interview with Akiane Kramarik

Book Reviews, Empaths, Interviews, Spirituality, The Heart Chakra, Uncategorized, Websites

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The first time I came across Akiane’s work I was in a “New Age” book store in Portland, Oregon. The fact that I was there in the first place was ironic, because I had grown-up Christian and built a pretty strong resistance around myself to ideas outside my faith.

But it was time to explore what was out there. I was in the middle of my own existential crisis and found no relief within the box of my upbringing.

As a child I often heard voices. I couldn’t see the world they whispered from, but I sensed and felt their dimension around me. At times it felt dark and scary, but mostly it held an enchantment of comfort and magic that gave me a sense of being “home.” Curious, I thought, the way the adults move and slipped through this unseen world with no mention of its existence.

Eventually I found a way to curve my way through this invisible realm too. The 3rd dimension has a way of forcing our attention to see only what it wants us to see. We forget we have a choice. Magic is lost to us.

Lost. That’s the overwhelming feeling I had as I timidly flipped through books in this store that, though I had been warned was “dangerous,” I felt as if the pages here contained the sense of mystery and wonder I had lost as I child — if there was any magic left in the world all.

That’s when I looked-up and saw the face of Jesus looking at me from the cover of Akiana’s book. It was a painting she had done herself at the age of 8, and it captivated me.

Before I knew what happened I was devouring every page — her poetry brought back the rhythm of the world I felt and heard as a child. Her paintings were a photo album of a home I had forgotten. Even her face looked familiar — like a distant cousin I hadn’t seen since childhood games.

Like me, Akiane had experienced the magic that weaves in-and-out of our world since a very young age. Her gift was painting — a powerful medium for revealing the beauty through her ability to portray the visible and invisible realms with emotion and dream-like realism.

I’ve been a fan of Akiana’s work ever since that day. The worlds she paints were an activation for me. There is a beauty she brings to life to remind us there is MORE — so much more magic than we allow ourselves to experience. It’s right here — waiting for us to see.

An excerpt from Akiane’s website defines the power of her vision beautifully:

“Most of her priceless masterpieces carry a mysterious result: she often uses an unidentified golden dust substance that once ‘materialized’ in front of her eyes. Her painting “Innocence” is a hologram: from the front the lady appearing young and serene, but from the side she is all in tears and wrinkles.

Akiane believes that people in the future will be able to study her originals with special microscopes revealing quantum relationships of the deepest colors and stories in her works. She has even been able to document her own masterpieces from beginning to end on film for educational purposes, and remains always open for many scientific and artistic collaborations.”

As Chakra Center continues to grow and encompass more magic, I thought it only fitting that I ask one of the most enchanting artist I know to stop by and share some of her quantum vision with us.

Enjoy!

Through your work you lend a sense of magic and mystery to the world – a feeling that everything has a purpose and is divinely inspired. How do you experience magic in your own life?

It’s not something you can teach, it’s something that you learn through experience.

Every day I see ordinary things in this extraordinary world, and I see extraordinary things in this ordinary world. To be able to create cinematic-like experience from a simple sound, object, color, emotion or a scenery takes patience and confidence.

Your newer paintings have a deep sense of wisdom, dimensions, and other worlds. What is your perspective on the relevance of other worlds/dimensions to our own?

What we all share is “awareness”. We are in a invisible intertwined web, the more we move there, the more we get to experience a wider range of relationships .

I hope my art would be part of that web. When people get the chance to see other worlds, I hope, they trust their own compass to navigate through true reality…

You’re a big advocate of using creativity as a means to tap into our true essence and see the world through a more magical, divine perspective. What are your tips on how people can tap into that creative world inside of them?

Experiment with various art forms. Try doing what people don’t expect. Going against the tide is one of the many hurdles a creative person must take. Mix things, put them upside down, hang them, combine them. If for the first week after all your energy is put in a project you do not feel any accomplishment, then it is a sign to start again something more innovative.

Some of your paintings have a very “extra-terrestrial” feel to them. What are your thoughts on ETs/life on other planets and their role in the co-creation of the multi-verses and our own universe?

I believe in my early experiences I came across multiple encounters. Throughout our history MANY other beings have lived on this earth side-by-side with the human race. There is definitely a purpose for so many trillions of beings to co-exist. Just look within our own bodies: there is a discovery every week about another living organism that has lived inside us without our knowledge.

Describe what inspiration feels like to you…

Inspiration and epiphanies are experienced when mind and heart meet.

What would you tell someone who wants to follow their joy path, but has no idea where to begin?

Get immersed in an environment that matters to you. If it’s in teaching, then volunteer at a school and get a first hand experience. If it’s in sculpting, research nearby local sculptors’s guild and visit their studios. If it’s in film-making, find a group on the internet like a weekly meet-up, invest in a camera and start with small projects with your family and friends and etc…

You’ve said in interviews that you believe, eventually, the human race will become vegan and that eating a plant based diet lends to a higher frequency of love on the planet. Could you share a bit about your experience going vegan and how it has changed your life/perspective? 

Yes, in the future we will find a loophole in our biological system that will allow us to change our molecular programming. A few years ago I did experiment with veganism. As I matured and researched more, I understood that all living things have emotions and capacity to experience fear and pain. In the future, I believe we will naturally find a better treasure for our energy resources, so no flora or fauna would suffer because of our existence.

We do not contribute to the nature’s system, we intervene like parasites. I am still 60% vegan, I am an advocate for preserving lives. And I thank everything that sustains me. Praying before eating is a thanksgiving time: someone has died so I could live.

What’s your number one tip for living an enchanted life?

Spend time with your friends and family , watch comedy , make comedy, and once in a while do something unexpected…

Flash Questions:

Private concert, who’s playing? Tony Bennett, Chris Botti or Joe Hisaishi.

Your stranded on a deserted island with only one book. What would it be? Ilia’s, my little brother’s book “The Future Never Gives Up”.

Favorite color? Manganese blue.

Living or dead, who would you like to have dinner with?

My grandparents.

Ocean or mountains? Oceans, without a doubt!

For more information on Akiane and her work, visit her website. You can also find her on Facebook.

Check-out this in-person interview with Akiane for more about her childhood experiences, stunning vision, and dream for the world:

Conscious Reads: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Book Reviews, Charmed Botanicals, Conscious Reads

Features

“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it”

I recently finished reading an inspiring book by Paulo Coelho called The Alchemist. A journey filled with twists and turns, as one boy goes after the callings of his heart and pursues his personal legend.

Santiago lives his life as a shepherd. His parents wanted him to pursue a career as a priest but he prefers being a shepherd because it allows him to travel and connect with nature. One night he has a dream about going to visit the pyramids in Egypt and finding a hidden treasure. After he wakes up he believes the dream may be a message for him to embark on the journey to see if indeed there is a treasure awaiting him in the pyramids. He takes a risk, sells his flock of sheep and begins to travel.

As Santiago follows his heart he is led to different people and situations that guide him towards his goal. It is mentioned in the tale that “there is no such thing as coincidence” and that all things are connected. Santiago realizes this and pays attentions to all the events and signs that present themselves to him along the way.

Coelho mixes a powerful tale with wisdom in this novel, so much so that I found myself highlighting sentences and seeing the deeper meaning behind the words. I read the entire book in a few hours because I was so curious to see what happened next for the shepherd boy!

Filled with inspiration to listen to your heart, chase your dreams, and live your destiny, this book was delightfully magical. If you are looking for a quick read that’s intriguing and full of snippets of wisdom, this is a great choice.

Happy reading!

Review by Jen Moeller

Conscious Reads: The Passion Test

Book Reviews, Conscious Reads, Features

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I just finished reading The Passion Test written by Janet and Chris Attwood. The purpose of this two-part book is to help you discover what your deepest passions are, and how to actively create a life filled with the things that bring you joy.

The first half is dedicated to discovering your passions. The way the The Passion Testauthors do this is by having the reader make a list of events or things that would be happening when their life is ideal. Then after the list is completed the authors walk the reader through a test in order to find out which of the things listed are the most important. I love books that are interactive so I jumped at the opportunity to take this test! I made my list and used the formula to narrow down my ideal life situations, and I thought I would share with you what I wrote. Here is what my list looks like:

When my life is ideal I am:

  1. Surrounded by like minded, conscious people who are on the spiritual path, and will support me on my journey.
  2. Developing spiritually/meditating daily on my life, and awakening to the truth of who I really am.
  3. Making my living by having fun, my “work” is play. I do what I love and love what I do.
  4. Traveling the world, meeting new people, visiting places I’ve never been and taking my camera along with me to document my travels.
  5. Involved in a soulful, blissful, loving relationship with a man aligned with my highest good.

After your list is complete the authors guide you through action steps to gain clarity on how to make your ideals a reality. I found the exercises to be enjoyable and easy to accomplish.

It is so important to dive deep into yourself and figure out what it is that really makes you happy. If someone asked you today what you are passionate about, would you be able to answer that question confidently or would it take you a while to think about it?

I have gotten to the point in my journey where I am clear on what IUntitled-1 love I am now just learning how important it is to make these things the main focus of my life. I am also realizing that these interests seem to shift and change over time. This book stresses that taking this test is something you should do at least once every six months. I think it is important to do this “check-in” and see where you are on cultivating your joy path, and if any changes need to be made.

The second half of the book consists of examples of people who have taken the test and some wisdom they have learned along the way. They share their stories and give tips as well as advice on what you can do strengthen your confidence and start living your passion filled life.

If you are craving more clarity about who you really are and what makes you joyful, this is a great resource. Make a cup of tea, put on some relaxing music, grab a journal and take the test, you may find the results to be eye opening!

Written by Jen Moeller

Conscious Reads: Trust Your Vibes by Sonia Choquette

Book Reviews, Conscious Reads, Features

“The reason you listen to your vibes is to surrender control so that the Universe can step in and help you. God knows better than you know how to take action in most situations, so relax, get out of the way, and let it happen.”Sonia Choquette

I recently finished reading a book by gifted intuitive Sonia Choquette called “Trust Your Vibes, Secret Tools for Six-Sensory Living.” This book is packed with 33 valuable tips and action steps on how to develop your intuition and live your life in a more conscious manner. The author takes you on a journey to learn what activities may be holding you back in developing your sixth sense, practices to overcome these blocks, and guidance on how to trust your instincts.

The beginning of the book offers a small quiz that the reader can take in order to evaluate how much they are already following their vibes. I found this to be helpful for me before reading further because I felt strongly that I was already allowing my intuition to help me through life, and this quiz was a conformation for me.

In the spiritual community we talk a lot about how important it is to take care of yourself, and your body. Eating clean foods, getting adequate sleep, grounding yourself and meditating are all essential, and the author covers these basic principles. She also discusses energy and how easy it is to tune into someone else’s consciously and unconsciously.

It is important to protect yourself and stay grounded in your own energy, especially when someone you are near is anxious or angry. A tip offered in the book states that if you do find yourself in this type of situation to block the energy from the other person by covering your solar plexus. You can do this by folding your arms across your belly. It occurred to me that this is something most of us do already and don’t even think about it. Children do this all the time. If they are not getting their way they cross their arms over their belly and pout. They are quite literally blocking the energy being sent in their direction!

The book also points out that art and writing are great tools to help develop your intuition. This is interesting: The author suggests writing down in a journal your intuitive hunches and “aha!” moments. This helps train your brain to be more aware of these occurrences. Once you begin doing this, you may notice the events may start happening more and more.

The truth is, spirit is always trying to guide you, it’s just that you may not have been getting the message! Art is also useful because it helps you “get out of your mind.”  When actively engaging in a creative activity you enjoy like painting, cooking or gardening it is easy to lose track of time and connect to your heart. When you connect with these spaces inside of you, it allows your soul to express itself. This helps develop your sixth sense and also brings you joy.

Whether you are just embarking on your spiritual path or have been practicing for a while, this book has information that is valuable for both seekers. This is equally a good resource if you are just looking for an interesting read that will help you develop your intuition. The tips in this book are useful, practical, and easy to implement into your daily life!

Happy Reading!

Review written by Jen Moeller

After Disclosure: A People’s Guide to Life After Contact

Book Reviews, Features

Some believe. Some don’t. Most are ambivalent.

Since the incidents at Roswell, the number of people claiming UFO sightings has steadily risen. And those who believe UFOs are of extraterrestrial origin represent a large majority.

Simply Google the word “UFO” or “ET” for a more-than-generous take on the spectrum of speculation: Pseudo-intellectuals who examine the facts, and insist on 3-dimensional evidence which may or may not be relevant. Hard-core skeptics, who believe these questions can (and/or should) only be answered through science and astronomy. Conspiracy theorists who accuse the government of shrouding evidence of Extra Terrestrial life in secrecy to protect some hidden agenda.

The Spiritual realm has its own theories.

Many fundamentalist religious folk deny the possibility of ETs all together, believing the Bible’s account of cosmology and creation to be literal and complete – the totality of all that is. Those God-fearing Church goers who do believe ETs exist, have their own take on what these beings actually are. Angels? Demons?

Or, as Chuck Missler, speculates, a hybrid race of fallen angels and humans, the “giants” (or Nephilim) referred to in the Old Testament. This view postulates an ultimate conspiracy of the dark side to contaminate our genetic gene pool by creating a bastardized blood of rebellion to ruin God’s creation of man.

Non-traditional spiritualists offer a variety of hypothesis: Many have claimed contact with ETs as guides and claim to channel beings from star systems such as the Pleiades and Arcturus. In this viewpoint, ETs are not looked at as a single entity with a distinct agenda, but rather, multi-dimensional beings throughout the galaxy, that, like humans, are both dark and light, some benevolent, some not.

In this paradigm, the realms of the Universe are too vast and varied for a single label or category.  ETs are not looked upon as “good” or “bad,” evil or divine, but simply, diverse.

Some are here to help the planet involve, some have their own agenda. It is a realm where much discernment and understanding is required.

According to many extrasensories and channelers, there are not one or two ET races, but literally thousands of different species with histories and cosmology as mysterious as Earth itself (and often, inextricable tied to Earth’s narrative).

Every one of these theories is an article unto themselves.  Yet I  mention these ideas to preface my feature of the following book, A.D After Disclosure, A People’s Guide to Life After Contact.”

Regardless of the paradigm any believer (or non-believer) comes from, this book takes on the big question:  If there is ET life, how would global contact change our world as we know it?

Creatively combining historical analysis and science fiction, A.D. After Disclosure sets-up the “what if” questions with fictional scenarios, while critically exploring the political, social, and cultural implications of contact.

Regardless of your take on the possibility of Extra Terrestrial life, A.D After Disclosure opens up the debate, and offers thought-provoking ideas on entanglement.

Skeptics and non-believers will have fun with this Hollywood style exploration, while UFO enthusiasts can tap into a plethora of directional possibilities. Either way, it’s a thought-expanding read.

Check it out!

About the Authors:

Richard Dolan : Historian and Researcher 

“Richard M. Dolan is the author of the ground-breaking historical series, UFOs and the National Security State, which chronicles the modern UFO age with an emphasis on military encounters and government secrecy. This work has been acclaimed as the finest history of the UFO phenomenon available in any language.

Dolan has also published articles, spoken at conferences around the world, and appeared on numerous TV specials as an on-air expert. He has developed fresh insights into the practical challenges and opportunities for a true disclosure of the UFO phenomenon.

Prior to his interest in UFOs, Dolan was a finalist for a Rhodes Scholarship, studying U.S. Cold War strategy, Soviet history and culture, and international diplomacy”

Bryce Zabel – Journalist and Screenwriter 

“Bryce Zabel has created five primetime network series, notably NBC’s Dark Skies, to be released on DVD in 2011.

He also wrote and produced Syfy’s first original film,Official Denial, about Majestic-12, and worked on the development team on the Spielberg-produced abduction miniseries, Taken.

In 2008, Zabel received the WGA award for writing the Hallmark mini- series, Pandemic. He has written multiple studio feature scripts, receiving credit on two produced films, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, and Mortal Kombat: Annihilation.

Zabel was also elected chairman/CEO of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

He has been an award-winning PBS investigative reporter and on-air CNN correspondent.”