Friday, May 1, 2015

Lester R Brown - A New World View!

The worldwide transition from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy is under way.

As fossil fuel prices rise, as air pollution worsens, and as concerns about climate instability cast a shadow over the future of coal, a new world energy economy is emerging. The old economy, fueled largely by coal and oil, is being replaced with one powered by solar and wind energy.

The Evolving Energy Transition

Thursday, April 30, 2015

A Better World is Possible + video

Circle Network Book Review: A Better World is Possible by Bruce Nixon, ISBN: 978-1-84694-514-4 Published by: O-Books as Paperback: £14.99 and E book: £8.23 409 pages Author’s website where you can download your free ebook:

Bruce Nixon is a veteran change agent, activist, writer, speaker, facilitator and business school teacher and he is passionate about sustainability, global justice, inclusive democracy and non-violence. In this comprehensive book, he brings all his knowledge and experience into the analysis of the state we are in, how we got here, and – more importantly – how we can turn things around and create a new and positive society by facing “the biggest challenge in our history”.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Save our Bees! + video

Despite the US and the UK resisting, bee campaigners are celebrating the European Union prohibition on the use of systemic pesticides which have been demonstrated to be toxic to bees. A total of 15 of the 27 European member states voted for a 2 year ban on neonicotinoids and 300,000 people in the UK signed a petition to bring in a ban. Most bumblebee species are declining and 6 species have suffered an 80% reduction in numbers in recent years. In the past 100 years, 20 British bee species have become extinct and 35 British bees are currently at risk of extinction. This is due to several factors, not just the chemicals which reduce their immune system capabilities, but loss of habitat plays a large role as does the removal of honey from hives and replacing it with sugar water which provides none of the valuable nutrients for bees throughout the winter, and does not provide the antibacterial that is needed for them to fight diseases. With 98% of wild flower meadows vanishing since 1950, we need to plant flowers that will help bees to thrive. They play a crucial role in plant pollination.  

How to Make a Vision Board by Jack Canfield + video

Your brain will work tirelessly to achieve the statements you give your subconscious mind. And when those statements are the affirmations and images of your goals, you are destined to achieve them!

Creating a vision board is probably one of the most valuable visualization tools available to you. This powerful tool serves as your image of the future - a tangible representation of where you are going. It represents your dreams, your goals, and your ideal life.
Because your mind responds strongly to visual stimulation-by representing your goals with pictures and images-you will actually strengthen and stimulate your emotions...  and your emotions are the vibrational energy that activates the Law of Attraction. The saying “A picture is worth a thousand words,” certainly holds true here.
If you have already defined your dreams, it’s time to illustrate them visually.

Disappearing Wildlife Red Alert + video

In 1979, Africa had 1,300,000 wild Elephants, today, there are 400,000 alive and the land is guarded by park rangers and it is estimated more than 1,000 rangers have been killed by armed militia groups in the past ten years trying to protect them.
23tonnes of Elephant Ivory was confiscated in 2012 - equivalent to the tusks of 2,500 Elephants. Seizures of illegal ivory are at their highest for 20 years  The price of Rhino horn has increased to £37.500 per kilogram, twice the price of gold and platinum (and more valuable than black market diamonds or cocaine). The illegal trade in wildlife is one of the most lucrative trades in the world, worth £6,000,000,000 per year and is ruthless in its quest. Animals are viciously killed and people are also killed. . This trade is fueled by the new middle classes of the Far East, Vietnam is the top destination point for Rhino horn where they trade in carcass, tusk and horn, in one haul 1,200 Rhino tusks were seized in Hong Kong. Approx 5,000 Rhinos remain in the wild.  

Global Sale of Fur at an All Time High!

Top fashion models, such as Naomi Campbell, who do not get out of bed for less than a £10,000 daily fee at one time pledged they would never wear fur and would rather go naked. But 400 of the world's up-market designers are using animal pelts for fashion on the cat-walks of London, Paris, Milan and New York, dressing high paid models in furs costing five figure sums. The UK fur market has more than doubled with Britain's leading fur retailer, Hockley, increasing sales by 44% in its London store over the past ten years. Mulberry, Gucci, Fendi and others are stocking winter collections. London is now the fastest growing market in Europe and sales in Asia are booming at £3.7 billion per year. World sales in fur reached £10.3 billion last year.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Self Actualisation by Barbara Marx Hubbard

An excerpt from the book 'Conscious Evolution' by Barbara Marx Hubbard 

The world is ready for the advent of a new stage of human consciousness and action. It is time for a “planetary birth experience,” a collective awakening, an experience of shared empathy, love, and creativity. Just as we once evolved from Neanderthal to Homo sapiens through a mysterious set of circumstances, not fully understood, so now we are emerging as Homo universalis, a species capable of conscious evolution on Earth and beyond.

What are signs of the emergence of a new era of evolution? Ken Carey wrote in The Third Millennium:

A mother never knows exactly what hour she will give birth to her child, but she has a “due date,” an approximate time when the baby is expected and will most likely be born. For millennia now there have been those in various traditions of both East and West who have known that the earth has a due date sometime during the second decade of the 21st century. Though there will be much awakening of individuals prior to the first unified movement of the awakened planetary organism, this movement, like a first breath, will occur in but a single moment.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

How is money created? + video

Do you know how our money is created? Most people don’t, but it isn't complicated, says Bruce Nixon! 97% of our money is created by commercial banks when they make loans, i.e. interest bearing debt, not by the Bank of England or the Mint. Only 3% is created in the form of notes and coins. Thus the profits of creating money go to the commercial banks rather than the public purse.

Over the last 40 years commercial banks have increased the money supply at an average of 11.5% a year. And that was obviously too much, too quickly. If the increase in the money supply were say 5% a year, about £60bn a year could go to the government and reduce our taxes by that amount.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Get A Far Better Night's Sleep by Nettie J Houck

One of the greatest complaints physicians hear daily has to complete with poor good quality sleep. This either comes in the form of insomnia, or feeling tired still right after a full night's rest. Although a doctor may prescribe some sort of sleep aid like Ambien or Lunesta for short-term use, if it becomes a chronic issue a lot more tests are most likely in order to get towards the root of one's sleep difficulties. With testing along with the suitable diagnosis of a sleep disorder, it is possible to finally get the best therapy in order to get a better night's sleep lastly.

John Gray on Health and Happiness + video

In a personal message to the Administrator of the Mind Body Spirit Magazine, John Gray writes "So much of my work can be summed by saying, "If you don't know your past, you will not know your future! I try to help people move forward by looking at their past mistakes and removing the blocks that are holding them back from finding happiness. Basically, unloading their baggage so they can enjoy their future (which is usally a combination of parents, siblings, friends, exes, etc) and is also the basis for most of my health work - unloading the baggage from past health decisions, which can be a combination of poor diet, not enough exercise, genetic traits and even prescribed medications.

Yoko Ono & Sean Lennon Launch Artists Against Fracking + video

Artists Against Fracking has been launched by Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon as a new coalition of artists, musicians, filmmakers and public figures opposed to hydraulic fracking. The growing coalition now includes more than 180 members, including Lady Gaga, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Anne Hathaway, Alec Baldwin, Marina Abramovic, Gwyneth Paltrow, Cindy Sherman, MGMT, Wilco, Bonnie Raitt, Liv Tyler, Mario Batali, Roberta Flack, Robert De Niro, Mark Ruffalo, Uma Thurman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and many others. The full list is at

The group will work to expose and stop the harmful and contaminating practice of fracking for natural gas and oil through mass awareness and peaceful democratic action. Yoko and Sean were compelled into action by Governor Andrew Cuomo's recent announcement that fracking might soon begin in New York.

Monday, April 20, 2015

UK's Trade in Illegal Rhino Horn + video

According to the Zoological Society, a Rhino is hacked to death ever 11 hours. Traffickers from the UK are trading in Rhino horn, buying online from middle-men who operate from South Africa, Egypt, Ethiopia and Equatorial Guinea and who sell it for £20,000 per lb. 

In South Africa the number of Rhinos slaughtered in 2007 was 13; in 2008 the number was 83. In 2011, 448 Rhinos were slaughtered and the number is increasing. By 2015, a tipping point will be reached where more are dying than being born - a recipe for certain extinction. The horn is used by the Chinese and Vietnamese for herbal medicine and in the Middle East, it is used to make dagger handles. The Yemen and Oman are thought to be the biggest users. Loss of habitat also contributes to their declining numbers.

Caring For Loved Ones With Dementia

Dementia is extraordinarily difficult for the carer to handle. The carer watches helplessly as the patient loses memories, the ability to retain information, becomes incontinent, becomes depressed and perhaps develops psychosis. The patient can become easily agitated, aggressive, or overly emotional. The deterioration of a loved one with dementia leads to severe stress for the carer.

Mexican Birds + Video

It's easy to separate animals from their natural habitats when you've only seen them in zoos. Not to say that you should go seek dangerous animals in the wild, of course, but it can be a thrill to see even the smallest and tamest exotic animals in their native homes. If you're on vacation in Mexico, keep an eye out for these birds.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Foods For Lowering Cholesterol and Triglyceride Levels

Research have discovered that Triglyceride levels have been directly linked to arteriosclerotic vascular disease which can be a primary trigger of cardiovascular disease , high blood pressure , and heart attacks . High triglyceride level is usually an indicator of poorly managed diabetes and even liver or even kidney diseases . High triglycerides levels could also be caused by various prescription medications for instance steroids , beta-blockers , tamoxifen or diuretics.

Even though there are lots of drugs offered ( prescribed or otherwise ) that aim to lower Cholesterol and Triglycerides levels , for many who does not have chronic hyperlipoproteinemia - changes to diet usually are more than enough to lower high levels .

This report aims to make available to you the Ten Essential Foods to Lower Cholesterol and Triglyceride Levels along with other things to avoid that will raise your blood cholesterol and triglycerides . Below are a few suggestions to include if you would like to start a low triglycerides and cholesterol diet

Friday, April 17, 2015

Jenni Roditi - Vocal Tai Chi

Please tell Mind Body Spirit Magazine something about yourself and how did you get involved with this type of practice and what training have you had?

I am a composer and pianist (Guildhall School, Brunel University). I studied voice outside academia in various alternative and non-classical contexts. I have been a registered Voice Movement Therapist for over twenty years. I have been involved with Tibetan Buddhism for thirty years and learnt Tai Chi in the 1980s.

I have written extensively for the voice, notably two full-length chamber operas; The Descent of Inanna and Siddhartha-Spirit Child, both commissioned and premiered in London by the contemporary ensemble Lontano. The operas are known for their prominent use of a mix of operatic and non-operatic voices. I have written orchestral, choral and chamber work, many songs in contemporary classical and extended vocal technique, experimental, pop and folk idioms.

I have done research into different types of singing, apart from the use of voice in a therapeutic setting, I studied with North Indian classical singers - the Misra Brothers, performance artists Meredith Monk and Ida Kelerova, Indian raga specialist Gilles Petit, spiritual teacher and voice leader Chloe Goodchild, gypsy singers from Spanish Flamenco and Balinese Temple singers. I practiced meditational chanting for many years.

I am interested in community and ran a salon des artes for eight years (ending 2009) from my home, The Loft, in North London, where I hosted around seventy events, inviting many musicians; classical, folk, jazz, Indian, African, Middle Eastern, Chinese, contemporary classical, electronic, post modern, free improvised, ambient, new age and gypsy.

In the last three years I have uncovered a new vocal-improvisation-performance and therapeutic practice, entitled, by my partner, after some exploratory singing I did at a friend's gathering, when he said  it feels like a vocal form of Tai Chi. 'Vocal Tai Chi' was born in early 2009 after this rather amazing comment.

In December 2011, at a friends performance party, I said for the first time I would sing Vocal Tai Chi on purpose, as it were, rather than intuitively as in 2009.  By naming it, prior to singing it, a discernible buzz of interest stirred the room. The response afterwards was very positive and VTC began its journey with concerts, afternoon workshops, private sessions, master classes, a Spring school and a Winter school in the last three years.

How did I get to this point where, what was a spontaneous moment at a small, private gathering, turned into a professional creative and therapeutic practice?

Well, while many things were in place, they were not joined up within an applicable holistic practice that included all the various threads of my work. Many of the elements have been listed at the start of this interview, but making a whole fabric of all these elements was eluding me.

With my training in music I learnt to listen for nuance of musical tone, phrase, pace, form - all the elements of musical language. In combination with this I always held close to my ear, what may be called soulfulness,which, during the height of the eighties avant-garde, was not always easy. And I always had a willingness to take musical (and personal) risks when engaging with composing and singing and kept the felt-sense of my musical callings central. Along with this I found the experience and philosophy of Tai Chi provided a base of stability and fluidity that all music-making (and indeed life) needs.

So while these elements were already in my field of work and awareness somehow it was the naming of them as one 'thing' that helped me and others see the integral nature of all the elements working together.  I thank Jazz Rasool for intuiting that connection between the many threads that I've followed over many years and finding just the right way to contain them in a title that neatly bridges several worlds. The work was there before the title came but the title brought it out into the world.

These various threads I've mentioned are some of the elements I help people work with in private sessions and workshops through a mix of processes. They are some of the main building blocks of creative music making and can always be attended to with increasing finesse, offering developmental outcomes at every level, from beginners to professionals.

In November 2014 I introduced Vocal Tai Chi to a bigger world in a public event alongside the concert pianist Cassie Yukawa (played Carnegie Hall, 2008). We worked together with Bach and improvisation in an event called the The Listening Space, directed by Simon McBurney. This experience showed me that this singing approach can go beyond the workshop or friends and family concert setting. There is an as yet untapped approach that could be developed as part of an ensemble performance -  a new form of chamber music seemed to be present that evening. I am hoping to develop new artistic collaborations along these lines in the future while continuing to facilitate this work for the general public.

My next move is introducing Vocal Tai Chi in Berkeley and Woodside CA in April 2015.

Vocal Tai Chi, to be clear, is always improvised there are no songs to learn or words to remember, only various recorded backing tracks that are optionally available as a support.  When I sing Vocal Tai Chi I use my composers mind to guide me in the moment to some extent. What is delightful is that I am able to couple this with questions such as

         Whereabouts in my body am I feeling the sensations, feelings or emotions that give rise to the impulses to sing right now?

         What happens if I sing, right noweven though Im not ready
What am I resisting - and can I let my voice go there too?

         Can I work through this tension in my chest by singing in the head voice and then dropping into chest?

         What is the mood of the audience?

         What is the atmosphere in the space itself?

There are many thoughts that can wrap around the process of singing Vocal Tai Chi (above are a few examples) but eventually you find that, as you get more familiar with the idiosyncrasies of your instrument you gain confidence and the voice itself knows what to do questions fall away.

All that remains are self-generating songs being sung just like this and never again like this. A full, unselfconscious, vibrant and authentic new music seems to evolve.

This can dissolve the barrier between performer and audience within the workshop setting moving towards a kind of social communion with all present. The listeners can experience a sense of almost co-creating with the soloist, the connection can be that close.

It seems that I have found what I have been nosing my way towards for years and Im delighted that others are recognising the value of this by coming to events regularly.

Does your method differ from other practitioners, and in what way? Please describe your method and why it is an improvement?

I have several methods and none. One of my methods is drawing on the training I had in Voice Movement Therapy and involves a map of the voice that helps the client navigate around the range of the instrument without needing any musical experience. However, unlike Voice Movement Therapy, I work not so much towards a solely therapeutic outcome, but more towards an artistic outcome. I find this to be of a different order of experience for a number of reasons.

The therapeutic process in Vocal Tai Chi (deriving, as I say, from Voice Movement Therapy) can happen effortlessly in many instances. I think this may be because the focus in the workshops builds towards 'your solo spot' and there is an edge of exposure to this, as people know they have a chance to deliver something real and that heightens the moment for all. This is enhanced by the use of the microphone and the backing tracks which provide a recognised frame of reference that suggests so much in terms of our recognised cultural stories. There is a provocation implied by that and also a chance to make full use of the convention.

There is often a transpersonal quality that arises from the spontaneous songs coming to life in 'your spot'.  Through singing a solo improvised musical performance, witnessed by others (what could be more revealing?) a declaration is made (however simple) signalling our full participation in life as it is lived in this moment. This can empower participants to feel they are singing, and indeed performing, (to fellow participants) with their truest voices. Performing in the workshops isn't a goal, but a natural part of the unfolding of the day.  The listeners appreciate each other enormously and are themselves often as transformed as the performer is. It can be pretty electrifying to witness. When you sing alone you are close to an act of invocation and this can shift all in transformative ways.

This brings me to another one of my methods singing at the microphone. Simple enough, but for many this is a scary and exciting moment. I emphasise the art singing solo in Vocal Tai Chi because the uniqueness of each person stepping out with their voice and their experience of life in that moment becomes an I Thou exchange with the listeners. The cohesion of Tai Chi with individual vocal narratives creates a generous and playful environment where the light and shadow of life's waves are reflected vividly, whether or not you can 'sing'.

My main method must however be demonstration. I have become the example of the work that people are drawn to, to start their own vocal journey with VTC.

I owe a lot to my study of Indian classical music and the profound delicacy and depth of the section of the raga known as the alap. This has inspired me beyond measure and in longer workshops I introduce a session called mindful singing which is an introduction to the SA RE GA (Doh Re Mi scale) tradition of Indian raga.

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