For the past 40 years, Robert Llewellyn has photographed thousands of unique beauties—many of them trees, flowers, seeds and other landscape elements. “For a photographer, anything can be a good subject, even dirt,” he says. “My mission is to move people from merely looking at things to deeply seeing things as they are.”
Sensory isolation in a floatation tank is known for inducing deep relaxation with subsequent improved health…The Book of Floating: Exploring the Private Sea, by Michael Hutchison, reports on 20th-century research suggesting the therapy can help allay ailments like chronic pain, migraines and sore muscles. There’s also evidence for enhanced meditation, creativity and spiritual experiences.
Want to age well? The answer isn’t in your 401k. Self-acceptance, a positive attitude, creative expression, purposeful living and spiritual connections all anchor successful and meaningful aging. In fact, these kinds of preparations are just as important as saving money for retirement, according to Ron Pevny, director of the Center for Conscious Eldering, in Durango, Colorado, and author of Conscious Living, Conscious Aging.
After World War II, cotton, wool and linen fell out of favor as wash and wear, stain-resistant, permanent-press polyester arrived. Annual production of the synthetic fiber, consuming petroleum, coal, air and water resources, today exceeds 22 billion tons. Americans alone discard 14 million tons of clothing each year—80 pounds per person—with 80 percent going to landfills, where polyester takes 20 to 200 years to biodegrade.
See How You’re Dooing
by Robynne Chutkan
A good bowel movement is the ultimate detox, eliminating toxins, unwanted bacteria, cells that have outlived their usefulness and other waste that has to go. Stools provide an index of health, so turn around and take a look at them for feedback for improving digestive and overall health. One key way to assess a stool is by its color. Use the following guide:
Nature’s holiday decorations can transcend cliché pine wreaths or farmed trees to make highly personalized indoor décor that supersedes traditional greenery. Yet mistletoe, holly leaves and berries, eucalyptus, poinsettias, tree needles, acorns and a cut tree’s water reservoir can be harmful to both pets and children. Here are some better choices.
During the holiday gift buying season, it’s good to recall the days of old-fashioned toys. Simple, wooden toys made with non-toxic paints are far safer than those sprayed with varnishes and paints containing lead and volatile organic compounds. Plastics can emit unhealthy chemicals used during manufacturing, which also produces environmental pollution.
A 2015 study by the National Association for Music Education (nafme.org) shows that youngsters harboring an early appreciation for music tend to have larger vocabularies and more advanced reading skills than their peers. The research also revealed that schools with music programs have an estimated 90.2 percent graduation rate and 93.9 percent attendance rate compared to others averaging 72.9 and 84.9 percent, respectively.
Influential spiritual leader Ram Dass has described Krishna Das (Jeffrey Kagel) as an example of someone whose “heartsongs” open channels to God. The Grammy-nominated kirtan artist, long considered yoga’s rock star, consistently plays to sold-out crowds worldwide. The Long Island native’s journey has gone from being a member of a popular rock band to going to India, where as a student of spiritual leader Neem Karoli Baba, the trajectory of his life and music shifted and expanded.
As primeval drumbeats echo across an African savannah, the rhythms circle the globe, picked up by the chants and rattles of shamans gracing Amazonian jungles and Siberian tundra. They’re repeated in Gregorian chants filling medieval cathedrals and “om” meditations sounding in Himalayan caves and yoga classes everywhere. They gently echo in the repeated tones of mothers’ lullabies, happy hummings as we go about our day and the melodies of Mozart.
Music is the soundtrack of our lives, whether we’re aware of it or not. It exists within, uniting and guiding us, and has helped heal body and spirit since the dawn of humanity. National Aeronautics and Space Administration scientists recently discovered that the universe itself has a song.