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Near-Death Experience NDE Story of Mellen -Thomas Benedict Journey Through the Light and Back

In 1982 I died from terminal cancer. The condition I had was inoperable, and any kind of chemotherapy they could give me would just have made me more of a vegetable. I was given six to eight months to live.

I had been an information freak in the1970’s, and I had become increasingly despondent over the nuclear crisis, the ecology crisis, and so forth. So, since I did not have a spiritual basis, I began to believe that nature had made a mistake, and that we were probably a cancerous organism on the planet. I saw no way that we could get out from all the problems we had created for ourselves and the planet. I perceived all humans as cancer, and that is what I got.

That is what killed me. Be careful what your world view is. It can feed back on you, especially if it is a negative world view. I had a seriously negative one. That is what led me into my death. I tried all sorts of alternative healing methods, but nothing helped.

So I determined that this was really just between me and God. I had never really faced God before, or even dealt with God. I was not into any kind of spirituality at the time, but I began a journey into learning about spirituality and alterna¬tive healing. I set out to do all the reading I could and bone up on the subject, because I did not want to be surprised on the other side. So I started reading on various religions and philosophies. They were all very interesting, and gave hope that there was something on the other side. I ended up in hospice care.

I remember waking up one morning at home about 4:30 AM, and I just knew that this was it. This was the day I was going to die. So I called a few friends and said goodbye. I woke up my hospice caretaker and told her. I had a private agreement with her that she would leave my dead body alone for six hours, since I had read that all kinds of interesting things happen when you die. I went back to sleep.

The next thing I remember is the beginning of a typical near-death experience. Suddenly I was fully aware and I was standing up, but my body was in the bed. There was this darkness around me. Being out of my body was even more vivid than ordinary experience. It was so vivid that I could see every room in the house, I could see the top of the house, I could see around the house, I could see under the house.

There was this Light shining. I turned toward the Light. The Light was very similar to what many other people have described in their near-death experiences. It was so magnificent. It is tangible; you can feel it. It is alluring; you want to go to it like you would want to go to your ideal mother’s or father’s arms.

As I began to move toward the Light, I knew intuitively that if I went to the Light, I would be dead. So as I was moving toward the Light I said, “Please wait a minute, just hold on a second here. I want to think about this; I would like to talk to you before I go.” To my surprise, the entire experience halted at that point. You are in control of your life after death experience. You are not on a roller coaster ride.

So my request was honored and I had some conversations with the Light. The Light kept changing into different figures, like Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, mandalas, archetypal images and signs. I asked the Light, “What is going on here? Please, Light, clarify yourself for me. I really want to know the reality of the situation.” I cannot really say the exact words, because it was sort of telepathy.

The Light responded. The information transferred to me was that during your life after death experience your beliefs shape the kind of feedback you are getting before the Light. If you were a Buddhist or Catholic or Fundamentalist, you get a feedback loop of your own stuff. You have a chance to look at it and examine it, but most people do not. As the Light revealed itself to me, I became aware that what I was really seeing was our higher Self matrix.

We all have a higher Self, or an oversoul part of our being. It revealed itself to me in its truest energy form. The only way I can really describe it is that the being of the higher Self is more like a conduit. It did not look like that, but it is a direct connection to the Source that each and every one of us has. We are directly connected to the Source. So the Light was showing me the higher Self matrix. I was not committed to one particular religion. So that is what was being fed back to me during my life after death experience.

As I asked the Light to keep clearing for me, to keep explaining, I understood what the higher Self matrix is. We have a grid around the planet where all the higher Selves are connected.

This is like a great company, a next subtle level of energy around us, the spirit level, you might say. Then, after a couple of minutes, I asked for more clarification. I really wanted to know what the universe is about, and I was ready to go at that time. I said “I am ready, take me.”

Then the Light turned into the most beautiful thing that I have ever seen: a mandala of human souls on this planet. Now I came to this with my negative view of what was happening on the planet. So as I asked the Light to keep clarifying for me, I saw in this magnificent mandala how beautiful we all are in our essence, our core. We are the most beautiful creations.

The human soul, the human matrix that we all make together is absolutely fantastic, elegant, exotic, everything. I just cannot say enough about how it changed my opinion of human beings in that instant. I said, “Oh, God, I did not know how beautiful we are.” At any level, high or low, in whatever shape you are in, you are the most beautiful creation, you are.

The revelations coming from the Light and seemed to go on and on, then I asked the Light, “Does this mean that Mankind will be saved?” Then, like a trumpet blast with a shower of spiraling lights, the Great Light spoke, saying, “Remember this and never forget; you save, redeem and heal yourself. You always have. You always will. You were created with the power to do so from before the beginning of the world.”

In that instant I realized even more. I realized that WE HAVE ALREADY BEEN SAVED, and we saved ourselves because we were designed to self-correct like the rest of God’s universe.

This is what the second coming is about. I thanked the Light of God with all my heart. The best thing I could come up with was these simple words of total appreciation: “Oh dear God, dear Universe, dear Great Self, I Love My Life.”

The Light seemed to breathe me in even more deeply. It was as if the Light was completely absorbing me. The Love Light is, to this day, indescribable. I entered into another realm, more profound than the last, and became aware of something more, much more. It was an enormous stream of Light, vast and full, deep in the Heart of Life. I asked what this was.

The Light responded, “This is the RIVER OF LIFE. Drink of this manna water to your heart’s content.” So I did. I took one big drink and then another. To drink of Life Itself! I was in ecstasy.
Then the Light said, “You have a desire.” The Light knew all about me, everything past, present and future. “Yes!” I whispered.

I asked to see the rest of the Universe; beyond our solar system, beyond all human illusion. The Light then told me that I could go with the Stream. I did, and was carried Through the Light at the End of the Tunnel. I felt and heard a series of very soft sonic booms. What a rush!

Suddenly I seemed to be rocketing away from the planet on this stream of Life. I saw the earth fly away. The solar system, in all its splendor, whizzed by and disappeared. At faster than light speed, I flew through the center of the galaxy, absorbing more knowledge as I went. I learned that this galaxy, and all of the Universe, is bursting with many different varieties of LIFE. I saw many worlds. The good news is that we are not alone in this Universe!

As I rode this stream of consciousness through the center of the galaxy, the stream was expanding in awesome fractal waves of energy. The super clusters of galaxies with all their ancient wisdom flew by. At first I thought I was going somewhere; actually traveling. But then I realized that, as the stream was expanding, my own consciousness was also expanding to take in everything in the Universe! All creation passed by me. It was an unimaginable wonder! I truly was a Wonder Child; a babe in Wonderland!

At this point, I found myself in a profound stillness, beyond all silence. I could see or perceive FOREVER, beyond Infinity.

I was in the Void.

I was in pre-creation, before the Big Bang. I had crossed over the beginning of time/the First Word/the First vibration. I was in the Eye of Creation. I felt as if I was touching the Face of God. It was not a religious feeling. Simply I was at one with Absolute Life and Consciousness.

When I say that I could see or perceive forever, I mean that I could experience all of creation generating itself. It was without beginning and without end. That’s a mind expanding thought, isn’t it?

Scientists perceive the Big Bang as a single event which created the Universe. I saw during my life after death experience that the Big Bang is only one of an infinite number of Big Bangs creating Universes endlessly and simultaneously. The only images that even come close in human terms would be those created by super computers using fractal geometry equations.

The ancients knew of this. They said God had periodically created new Universes by breathing out, and recreated other Universes by breathing in. These epochs were called Yugas. Modern science called this the Big Bang. I was in absolute, pure consciousness. I could see or perceive all the Big Bangs or Yugas creating and recreating themselves. Instantly I entered into them all simultaneously. I saw that each and every little piece of creation has the power to create. It is very difficult to try to explain this. I am still speechless about this.

It took me years after I returned from my near-death experience to assimilate any words at all for the Void experience. I can tell you this now: the Void is less than nothing, yet more than everything that is! The Void is absolute zero; chaos forming all possibilities. It is Absolute Consciousness; much more than even Universal Intelligence.

The Void is the vacuum or nothingness between all physical manifestations. The SPACE between atoms and their components. Modern science has begun to study this space between everything. They call it Zero point. Whenever they try to measure it, their instruments go off the scale, or to infinity, so to speak. They have no way, as of yet, to measure infinity accurately.

There is more of the 0 space in your own body and the Universe than anything else!

What mystics call the Void is not a void. It is so full of energy, a different kind of energy that has created everything that we are. Everything since the Big Bang is vibration, from the first Word, which is the first vibration. The biblical “I am” really has a question mark after it. “I am—What am I?” So creation is God exploring God’s Self through every way imaginable, in an on¬going, infinite exploration through every one of us. I began to see during my near-death experience that everything that is, is the Self, literally, your Self, my Self. Everything is the great Self. That is why God knows even when a leaf falls. That is possible because wherever you are is the center of the universe. Wherever any atom is, that is the center of the universe. There is God in that, and God in the Void.

As I was exploring the Void during my life after death experience and all the Yugas or creations, I was completely out of time and space as we know it. In this expanded state, I discovered that creation is about Absolute Pure Consciousness, or God, coming into the Experience of Life as we know it. The Void itself is devoid of experience. It is pre life, before the first vibration. Godhead is about more than Life and Death. Therefore there is even more than Life and Death to experience in the Universe!

When I realized this I was finished with the Void, and wanted to return to this creation, or Yuga. It just seemed like the natural thing to do. Then I suddenly came back through the second Light, or the Big Bang, hearing several more velvet booms. I rode the stream of consciousness back through all of creation, and what a ride it was! The super clusters of galaxies came through me with even more insights. I passed through the center of our galaxy, which is a black hole. Black holes are the great processors or recyclers of the Universe.

Do you know what is on the other side of a Black Hole? We are; our galaxy, which has been reprocessed from another Universe. In its total energy configuration, the galaxy looked like a fantastic city of lights. All energy this side of the Big Bang is light. Every sub atom, atom, star, planet, even consciousness itself is made of light and has a frequency and/or particle. Light is living stuff. Everything is made of light, even stones. So everything is alive. Everything is made from the Light of God; everything is very intelligent.

As I rode the stream on and on, I could eventually see a huge Light coming. I knew it was the First Light; the higher Self Light Matrix of our solar system. Then the entire solar system appeared in the Light, accompanied by one of those velvet booms.

I could see all the energy that this solar system generates, and it is an incredible light show! I could hear the Music of the Spheres. Our solar system, as do all celestial bodies, generates a unique matrix of light, sound and vibratory energies. Advanced civilizations from other star systems can spot life as we know it in the universe by the vibratory or energy matrix imprint. It is child’s play. The earth’s Wonder child (human beings) make an abundance of sound right now, like children playing in the backyard of the universe.

The Light explained to me that there is no death; we are immortal beings. We have already been alive forever! I realized that we are part of a natural living system that recycles itself endlessly. I was never told that I had to come back. I just knew that I would. It was only natural, from what I had seen during my life after death experience.

I don’t know how long I was with the Light, in human time. But there came a moment when I realized that all my questions had been answered and my return was near. When I say that all my questions were answered on the other side, I mean to say just that. All my questions have been answered. Every human has a different life and set of questions to explore. Some of our questions are Universal, but each of us is exploring this thing we call Life in our own unique way. So is every other form of life, from mountains to every leaf on every tree.

And that is very important to the rest of us in this Universe. Because it all contributes to the Big Picture, the fullness of Life. We are literally God exploring God’s self in an infinite Dance of Life. Your uniqueness enhances all of Life.

As I began my return to the life cycle, it never crossed my mind, nor was I told that I would return to the same body. It just did not matter. I had complete trust in the Light and the Life process. As the stream merged with the great Light, I asked never to forget the revelations and the feelings of what I had learned on the other side.

There was a “Yes.” It felt like a kiss to my soul.

Then I was taken back through the Light into the vibratory realm again. The whole process reversed, with even more information being given to me. I came back home, and I was given lessons from my near-death experience on the mechanics of reincarnation. I was given answers to all those little questions I had: “How does this work? How does that work?” I knew that I would be reincarnated.

The earth is a great processor of energy, and individual consciousness evolves out of that into each one of us. I thought of myself as a human for the first time, and I was happy to be that.

From what I have seen, I would be happy to be an atom in this universe. An atom. So to be the human part of God... this is the most fantastic blessing. It is a blessing beyond our wildest estimation of what blessing can be. For each and every one of us to be the human part of this experience is awesome, and magnificent. Each and every one of us, no matter where we are, screwed up or not, is a blessing to the planet, right where we are.

I went through the reincarnation process expecting to be a baby somewhere. But I was given a lesson on how individual identity and consciousness evolve. I was so surprised when I opened my eyes. I do not know why, because I understood it, but it was still such a surprise to be back in this body, back in my room with someone looking over me crying her eyes out. It was my hospice caretaker. She had given up an hour and a half after finding me dead. My body was stiff and inflexible. She went into the other room. Then I awakened and saw the light outside. I tried to get up to go to it, but I fell out of the bed. She heard a loud “clunk,” ran in and found me on the floor.

When I recovered, I was very surprised and yet very awed about what had happened to me during my near-death experience. At first all the memory of the trip that I have now was not there. I kept slipping out of this world and kept asking, “Am I alive?” This world seemed more like a dream than that one. Within three days I was feeling normal again, clearer, yet different than I had ever felt in my life. My memory of my near-death experience came back later. I could see nothing wrong with any human being I had ever seen. Before that I was really judgmental. I thought a lot of people were really screwed up, in fact I thought that everybody was screwed up but me. But I got clear on all that.

About three months later a friend said I should get tested, so I went and got the scans and so forth. I really felt good, so I was afraid of getting bad news. I remember the doctor at the clinic looking at the before and after scans, saying, “Well, there is nothing here now.” I said, “Really, it must be a miracle”’ He said “No, these things happen; they are called spontaneous remission.”

He acted very unimpressed. But here was a miracle, and I was impressed, even if no one else was.

During my near-death experience I had a descent into what you might call Hell, and it was very surprising. I did not see Satan or evil. My descent into Hell was a descent into each person’s customized human misery, ignorance, and darkness of not knowing. It seemed like a miserable eternity. But each of the millions of souls around me had a little star of light always available. But no one seemed to pay attention to it. They were so consumed with their own grief, trauma and misery. But, after what seemed an eternity, I started calling out to that Light, like a child calling to a parent for help.

Then the Light opened up and formed a tunnel that came right to me and insulated me from all that fear and pain, That is what Hell really is. So what we are doing is learning to hold hands, to come together. The doors of Hell are open now. We are going to link up, hold hands, and walk out of Hell together. The Light came to me and turned into a huge golden angel. I said, “Are you the angel of death?” It expressed to me that it was my oversoul, my higher Self matrix, a super ancient part of ourselves. Then I was taken to the Light.

Soon our science will quantify spirit. Isn’t that going to be wonderful? We are coming up with devices now that are sensitive to subtle energy or spirit energy. Physicists use these atomic colliders to smash atoms to see what they are made of. They have got it down to quarks and charm, and all that. Well, one day they are going to come down to the little thing that holds it all together, and they are going to have to call that ... God. We are just beginning to understand that we are creating too, as we go along. As I saw forever, I came to a realm during my near-death experience in which there is a point where we pass all knowledge and begin creating the next fractal, the next level. We have that power to create as we explore. And that is God expanding itself through us.

Since my return I have experienced the Light spontaneously, and I have learned how to get to that space almost any time in my meditation. Each one of you can do this. You do not have to die or have a near-death experience to do this. It is within your equipment; you are wired for it already. The body is the most magnificent Light being there is. The body is a universe of incredible Light. Spirit is not pushing us to dissolve this body. That is not what is happening. Stop trying to become God; God is becoming you. Here.

I asked God: “What is the best religion on the planet? Which one is right?” And Godhead said, with great love: “I don’t care.” That was incredible grace. When Godhead said, “I don’t care,” I immediately understood that it is for us to care about. It is important, because we are the caring beings. It matters to us and that is where it is important. What you have is the energy equation in spirituality. Ultimate Godhead does not care if you are Protestant, Buddhist, or whatever. It is all a blooming facet of the whole. I wish that all religions would realize it and let each other be. It is not the end of each religion, but we are talking about the same God. Live and let live. Each has a different view. And it all adds up to the big picture; it is all important.

I went over to the other side during my near-death experience with a lot of fears about toxic waste, nuclear missiles, the population explosion, the rainforest. I came back loving every single problem. I love nuclear waste. I love the mushroom cloud; this is the holiest mandala that we have manifested to date, as an archetype. It, more than any religion or philosophy on earth, brought us together all of a sudden, to a new level of consciousness. Knowing that maybe we can blow up the planet fifty times, or 500 times, we finally realize that maybe we are all here together now.

For a period they had to keep setting off more bombs to get it in to us. Then we started saying, “we do not need this any more.” Now we are actually in a safer world than we have ever been in, and it is going to get safer. So I came back from my near-death experience loving toxic waste, because it brought us together. These things are so big. As Peter Russell might say, these problems are now “soul size.” Do we have soul size answers” YES!

The clearing of the rain forest will slow down, and in fifty years there will be more trees on the planet than in a long time. If you are into ecology, go for it; you are that part of the system that is becoming aware. Go for it with all your might, but do not be depressed. It is part of a larger thing.

Earth is in the process of domesticating itself. It is never again going to be as wild a place as it once was. There will be great wild places, reserves where nature thrives. Gardening and reserves will be the thing in the future. Population increase is getting very close to the optimal range of energy to cause a shift in consciousness. That shift in consciousness will change politics, money, energy.

After dying, going through my near-death experience and coming back, I really respect life and death. In our DNA experiments we may have opened the door to a great secret. Soon we will be able to live as long as we want to live in this body.

After living 150 years or so, there will be an intuitive soul sense that you will want to change channels. Living forever in one body is not as creative as reincarnation, as transferring energy in this fantastic vortex of energy that we are in. We are actually going to see the wisdom of life and death, and enjoy it. As it is now, we have already been alive forever.

This body, that you are in, has been alive forever. It comes from an unending stream of life, going back to the Big Bang and beyond.

This body gives life to the next life, in dense and subtle energy.

This body has been alive forever already.

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Hello my beautiful friends, I wish you a wonderful weekend and week of love, laughter, peace and joy. Blessings & Pure Energy coming your way, Melodie

The creation of Man-Kind and the Flood - A Pima Legend

Pima People

After the world was ready, Earth Doctor made all kinds of animals and creeping things. Then he made images of clay, and told them to be people. After a while there were so many people that there was not food and water enough for all.

They were never sick and none died. At last there grew to be so many they were obliged to eat each other.

Then Earth Doctor, because he could not give them food and water enough, killed them all. He caught the hook of his staff into the sky and pulled it down so that it crushed all the people and all the animals, until there was nothing living on the earth.

Earth Doctor made a hole through the earth with his stick, and through that he went, coming out safe, but alone, on the other side.

He called upon the sun and moon to come out of the wreck of the world and sky, and they did so. But there was no sky for them to travel through, no stars, and no Milky Way. So Earth Doctor made these all over again.

Then he created another race of men and animals.

Then Coyote was born. Moon was his mother. When Coyote was large and strong he came to the land where the Pima Indians lived.


Then Elder Brother was born. Earth was his mother, and Sky his father. He was so powerful that he spoke roughly to Earth Doctor, who trembled before him. The people began to increase in numbers, just as they had done before, but Elder Brother shortened their lives, so the earth did not become so crowded.

But Elder Brother did not like the people created by Earth Doctor, so he planned to destroy them again. So Elder Brother planned to create a magic baby. . . .

The screams of the baby shook the earth. They could be heard for a great distance. Then Earth Doctor called all the people together, and told them there would be a great flood. He sang a magic song and then bored a hole through the flat earth-plain through to the other side. Some of the people went into the hole to escape the flood that was coming, but not very many got through.

Some of the people asked Elder Brother to help them, but he did not answer. Only Coyote he answered. He told Coyote to find a big log and sit on it, so that he would float on the surface of the water with the driftwood. Elder Brother got into a big olla which he had made, and closed it tight. So he rolled along on the ground under the olla. He sang a magic song as he climbed into his olla.


A young man went to the place where the baby was screaming. Its tears were a great torrent which cut gorges in the earth before it. The water was rising all over the earth. He bent over the child to pick it up, and immediately both became birds and flew above the flood.

Only five birds were saved from the flood. One was a flicker and one a vulture. They clung by their beaks to the sky to keep themselves above the waters, but the tail of the flicker was washed by the waves and that is why it is stiff to this day. At last a god took pity on them and gave them power to make "nests of down" from their own breasts on which they floated on the water.


One of these birds was the vipisimal, and if any one injures it to this day, the flood may come again.

Now South Doctor called his people to him and told them that a flood was coming. He sang a magic song and he bored a hole in the ground with a cane so that people might go through to the other side. Others he sent to Earth Doctor, but Earth Doctor told them they were too late. So they sent the people to the top of a high mountain called Crooked Mountain. South Doctor sang a magic song and traced his cane around the mountain, but that held back the waters only for a short time. Four times he sang and traced a line around the mountain, yet the flood rose again each time. There was only one thing more to do.

He held his magic crystals in his left hand and sang a song. Then he struck it with his cane. A thunder peal rang through the mountains. He threw his staff into the water and it cracked with a loud noise. Turning, he saw a dog near him. He said, "How high is the tide?" The dog said, "It is very near the top." He looked at the people as he said it. When they heard his voice they all turned to stone.

They stood just as they were, and they are there to this day in groups: some of the men talking, some of the women cooking, and some crying.

But Earth Doctor escaped by enclosing himself in his reed staff, which floated upon the water. Elder Brother rolled along in his olla until he came near the mouth of the Colorado River. The olla is now called Black Mountain. After the flood he came out and visited all parts of the land.

Pima Home and Way of Life

When he met Coyote and Earth Doctor, each claimed to have been the first to appear after the flood, but at last they admitted Elder Brother was the first, so he became ruler of the world.

Pima Baskets and Pottery

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UFO & Abductions

History Channel has featured an interesting program about alien abductees:

A famous hypnotherapist (Barbara Lamb) has regressed about 400 people who claim
having been subjected to medical experiments during their abduction, including
being implanted with devices.

Surgeon podiatrist Dr. Roger Leir has extracted a device made of metal implanted in Tim Cullen
(back in 1978): although there was no original entry scar, a 6 mm metallic object was found under
the skin; there was no inflammatory response to the object and the area of the body where the object
was found showed the presence of nerve cells that did not belong to that area.

On another guy, Dr. Roger could measure that the object was emitting two oscillating
frequencies, but once the object was removed, it did not work anymore;

He is convinced that these devices use the neural energy of the body

The objects contain metals that are not from our planet Earth.

MUFON is an organization recruiting private citizens to become investigators of

extraterrestrial beings and phenomenas.

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This is fantastic video about the "Great Chinese State Circus", playing "Swank Lake".

Definately one of the most amazing things that I have seen...

Great Chinese State Circus - Swan Lake

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Your Time

Your Time
posted by Deepak Chopra Oct 19, 2010

We all have a sense that time expands and contracts, seeming to drag one moment and race the next, but what is our constant, our absolute? I believe it is “me,” our core sense of self.

Consider all the subjective qualities we attach to time. We say things like: I don’t have time for that. Time’s up. Your time’s running out. How the time flies. Time hangs heavy. I love you so much, time stands still.
These statements do not say anything about time measured by the clock. The clock doesn’t lie about how much linear time has elapsed “out there.” But subjective time, the kind that exists only “in here,” is a different matter.

All the above statements reflect a state of self. If you’re bored, time hangs heavy; if you’re desperate, time’s running out; if you’re exhilarated, time flies; when you’re in love, time stands still. In other words, whenever you take an attitude toward time, you are really saying something about yourself. Time, in the subjective sense, is a mirror.

The element of time pressure also alters behavior, attitudes, and physiological responses. So subjective time can be an incredibly powerful force. Some people are much more sensitive to time pressure than others. How much better not to feel any time pressure, to blossom fully despite the fact that death exists.

The attitude that life is a blossoming, not a race, can be achieved. To do that, you can’t believe that time is running out. Sending that message to your body’s cells is the same, ultimately, as programming them to age and die.

Yet the fact is that linear time is moving inexorably forward, and to overcome that, we must find a place where a different kind of time, or no time, can be experienced and internalized.

Adapted from Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, by Deepak Chopra (Three Rivers Press, 1998).

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Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief

Adapted from Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief by David Winston and Steven Maimes (Healing Arts Press, 2007).

In the West, we don’t have a perfect word to describe the mind-body-spirit connection. We sometimes use the terms psychospiritual and psychophysiology to express the mind-body-spirit connection. There is also psychoneuroimmunology, the study of mind-body interactions and their effects on the immune system. Mind-body and/or spiritual energy are integrated with, not separate from, our physical body, and many believe that good health includes nourishing this connection.

Several adaptogen herbs have been used to aid meditation and deliver nutrients to the mind that are necessary for the experience of enlivened consciousness. They can be used as aids to elevate the mood and spirit and to calm the mind. The following adaptogens have been used to enhance the mind-body-spirit connection: Asian ginseng, holy basil, licorice, reishi and shatavari.

• Asian ginseng calms the spirit and helps one gain wisdom. It also could be said that ginseng calms the distressed mind while strengthening the body.

• Holy basil affects the body’s “energy field” according to Ayurvedic physician and author Dr. Vasant Lad, Holy basil opens the heart and the mind, bestowing the energy of love and devotion (bhakti).

• Licorice commonly is used as a tea by Buddhist monks and called “the peacemaker” herb by the Chinese. Licorice root tea helps calm and prepare the mind for meditation.

• Reishi generates a sense of inner calm and harmony while also heightening mental perception, both logical and intuitive.

• Shatavari is thought to foster the energy of tolerance and compassion.

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Top 5 Green Houses of Worship (video)

Top 5 Green Houses of Worship (video)
posted by Cris Popenoe

This video shows five unusual and imaginative green houses of worship of five religions:

• The proposed Park51 Muslim center in lower Manhattan
• A Buddhist temple in Thailand built entirely of beer bottles
• A Hindu temple that bans all plastics
• A LEED certified Jewish temple in Illinois
• A church in Scotland that has developed its own 10 eco commandments.

Planet 100: Top 5 Green Houses of Worship

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You've Made A Mistake. Now What?

You've Made A Mistake. Now What?
by Amy Gallo

Anyone who has worked in an office for more than a day has made a mistake. While most people accept that slip-ups are unavoidable, no one likes to be responsible for them. The good news is that mistakes, even big ones, don't have to leave a permanent mark on your career. In fact, most contribute to organizational and personal learning; they are an essential part of experimentation and a prerequisite for innovation. So don't worry: if you've made a mistake at work, — and, again, who hasn't? — you can recover gracefully and use the experience to learn and grow.

What the Experts Say
According to Paul Schoemaker, the research director for the Mack Center for Technological Innovation at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School and co-author of the forthcoming Brilliant Mistakes, most people tend to overreact to their slip-ups. They "make asymmetric evaluation of gains and losses so that losses loom much larger than gains," he explains. As a result, they may be tempted to hide their mistakes, or even worse, continue down paths that have proven unproductive. This "sunk cost fallacy" can be dangerous and expensive.

It is much better to accept mistakes, learn from them, and move on. "Look forward and base decisions on the future not the past," Schoemaker says. Christopher Gergen, the director of the Entrepreneurial Leadership Initiative at Duke University and co-author of Life Entrepreneurs: Ordinary People Creating Extraordinary Lives, agrees.

The most useful thing you can do is "translate a mistake into a valuable moment of leadership," he says

Here are a few guiding principles to help you turn your gaffes into gold:

Fess up and acknowledge your mistake
First and foremost, it's critical to be transparent, candid, and own up to the error. Don't try to blame others.

Even if it was a group mistake, acknowledge your role in it. In cases where someone was hurt, issue an apology. However, don't apologize too much or be defensive. The key is to be action-oriented and focus on the future. How will your misstep be remedied? What will you do differently going forward?

Once you've admitted your blunder, it may be appropriate to reframe it. Reframing is not making an excuse, but a genuine effort to help people see the mistake in a different light. Poor decisions or flawed processes can sometimes lead to mistakes, but that doesn't mean that every bad outcome is a mistake. Gergen says it's important to understand what was external and internal, what was in your control and what wasn't. Explaining in a non-defensive way what led to the mistake can help people better understand why it happened and how to avoid it in the future.

Change your ways
Mistakes play a critical role in leadership development. "The best kind of mistake is where the costs are low but the learning is high," Schoemaker says. If the error was a result of a poor decision, explain to your boss and other interested parties how you will avoid making the same or a similar misstep in the future. You have to respond quickly before people make judgments about your competence or expertise. "You need to get on top of it, get ahead of it, and deal with it," Gergen says.

By demonstrating that you've changed as a result of your mistake, you reassure your superiors, peers, and direct reports that you can be trusted with equally important tasks or decisions in the future. "If you are going to pay the price for making the mistake, you need to get the learning," Schoemaker says. This is far easier in a learning culture than in a performance-focused culture, in which mistakes are often viewed more harshly. But regardless of the office environment, you need to figure out "how you can translate the mistake from a liability into an asset," Gergen says.

Rely on your support network
A strong support network can help you. "Our research shows that a healthy support network has three components: authentic trusting relationships, a diverse range of perspectives, and is reciprocal," Gergen says. Ask current or former colleagues or people outside the organization for their perspective on the mistake and what they believe you can do to recover. They are likely to have some useful advice about how to frame the error and restore your reputation.

Get back out there
It can be hard to rebuild confidence after slipping up. The key is to not let your errors make you afraid of experimentation. Once the mistake is behind you, focus on the future. If it made people question your expertise, put more data points out there to rebuild their trust. Remember that mistakes are not signs of weakness or ineptitude; recovering from them demonstrates resilience and perseverance. Both Gergen and Schoemaker emphasize that many employers look for people who made mistakes and came out ahead.

Not all mistakes are created equal
Mistakes vary in degree and type and some can be tougher to recover from than others. Schoemaker notes that group mistakes are often easier to get over because there is a diffusion of responsibility. Mistakes that involve breaking someone's trust can have lasting consequences and contrition is critical. If your mistake has caused someone to lose trust in you, approach the person and offer a sincere apology. Ask what you can do to restore his trust. But be patient — forgiveness may take a long time.

Principles to Remember

Accept responsibility for your role in the mistake
Show that you've learned and will behave differently going forward
Demonstrate that you can be trusted with equally important decisions in the future

Be defensive or blame others
Make mistakes that violate people's trust — these are the toughest to recover from
Stop experimenting or hold back because of a misstep

Case Study #1: A supportive boss and colleagues speed up recovery

As the associate director of the Science & Environmental Health Network (SEHN), one of Katie Silberman's responsibilities is to manage the nonprofit organization's grant applications. Last August, Katie created a calendar to track important funding dates; it included due dates for current grant reports as well as deadlines to reapply for future funding. In late January, Katie emailed the foundation officer at one of the organization's primary funders to check in about their re-application for 2010, thinking she was ahead of schedule. But the Foundation Officer replied that the 2010 deadline had just passed. Katie was shocked. She had a March deadline on her calendar — that was when the report for the 2009 grant was due and Katie expected they would talk about reapplying then. SEHN needed the Foundation grant to make it through the year. "To lose a funder in this environment isn't just bad, it's catastrophic," Katie says. It turns out that each January someone at SEHN calls the foundation officer to discuss that year's cycle. Katie wasn't aware of this informal meeting, but it was her responsibility to know each funder relationship in and out and to ensure that the organization was on top of each funding opportunity.

Katie immediately called her boss, explained the mistake and offered ideas about how they could secure new funding sources to keep the organization afloat. Because she was forthright, she and the rest of the SEHN team were extremely supportive, offering to join a team call and do whatever they could to help. The foundation officer had let Katie know that there was a deadline in May for a separate round of funding and so SEHN has decided to submit an idea for a new project conceived at a recent retreat. Katie is optimistic they'll get it funded.

While Katie felt like she had made an enormous mistake, she learned from it. Her calendar of deadlines now also includes "unwritten" ones and meetings in addition to the hard dates issued by funders.

Case Study #2: Don't blame the economy, change your ways

In the late 1990s, Christopher Gergen, one of our experts from above, co-founded, an online tutoring service for high school and college students. Christopher and his partner raised their first round of financing in the spring of 1999. The company grew quickly: by the beginning of 2000, it had 30 employees and was ready to launch. Then the dot com bubble burst. In a matter of weeks, the company's financing fell through. With six weeks of cash in the bank, Christopher and his co-founder were facing one of the biggest mistakes of their lives. Like many, they failed to foresee the bubble bursting and left the company and themselves exposed.

Christopher had prior experience with companies facing hard times and had seen leaders hide behind closed doors. He and his co-founder took a different approach. They brought their whole staff together and explained exactly what needed to happen to save the company. Emphasizing that they couldn't pull it off alone, they were clear about what each person and function needed to do.

They "limped" through that spring and summer, but were able to raise a $5 million round of funding in the fall and winter. While Christopher could easily blame the economy for what happened, he takes full responsibility for putting the company in an over-extended position. "While outside circumstances were not in our control, the ability to manage through it was," he says. Most importantly, he learned from the mistake and began to take a much more disciplined approach to cash flow. As a result of how he and his co-founder handled the aftermath, the company indeed survived and now has cohesive culture with practically no turnover. It just celebrated its eleventh anniversary and made it through the recent downturn with very few hiccups.

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Packing 400 lunches - and love - to serve the homeless

Kansas City's 'mother of the streets' rises at 4:30 each morning, packs 400 decorated bags, and then seeks out the homeless.

Marcia Merrick’ s Reaching Out Inc., in Kansas City, Mo., serves the city’s homeless. Here, she delivers socks and toiletries.

David Conrads
By David Conrads, Contributor / March 8, 2010
Kansas City, Mo.

For years, Marcia Merrick began her day making lunches for her two children. Her kids are grown up now, but Ms. Merrick still makes lunches every morning – 400 of them. Each decorated paper bag contains a peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich or a bean burrito, chips, fruit, and two homemade cookies. She also includes a note of encouragement – and then distributes them to the homeless of Kansas City, Mo.

Dubbed the “mother of the streets,” Merrick starts every day (Christmas and other holidays included) at 4:30 a.m. so she can finish her preparations and make the 15-minute drive to downtown Kansas City by 6 a.m., the time when most homeless shelters close and their overnight guests are turned out. She also makes stops at homeless encampments tucked away in secluded spots around the fringes of the city, under bridges and highway overpasses, and along the banks of the Missouri River.

Each day is a little different. She gives out half of the 400 lunches in the morning and the rest during a similar afternoon run, before the shelters open again at 4 p.m. The time in between is taken up with other tasks, such as driving someone to a social services office or to court or a health clinic. She also gives away items like clothing and bedding based on individual needs. In addition, Merrick and the volunteers who work with her help some 370 homeless families a year.

Merrick doesn’t just feed and clothe the homeless. She talks with them, learns their names, listens to their stories, and gives them hugs and encouraging words. As a result, she’s well known on the streets of Kansas City and has the trust of many of the city’s homeless.

“Really, the food and clothing I give them is just a way to get into their hearts,” she says. “A lot of them want to change, but they don’t have ... the knowledge and the emotional support to do that. Some have been on the streets so long they don’t even know where to start.”

What keeps her going, she says, is the success she has had in helping destitute individuals and families turn their lives around.

Kim and Wayne Hill are one such case. The self-employed house painters found their work all but evaporated when the economy began to sour a few years ago. In time they lost their house and found themselves living with their young son in a family shelter.

That’s where they met Merrick. She was able to do many things to help them reclaim a normal life, including helping Mr. Hill receive much needed dental work. She even found painting jobs for the couple.

“I can’t begin to tell you everything Marcia did for us,” says Mrs. Hill, whose family now lives in an apartment in a large complex, where her husband is the staff painter. “She’s so compassionate. She’s good at finding that place in your heart that’s lacking – any heartache or sadness – and then filling that void. She’s the ultimate mother.”

Merrick works not only to meet the basic needs of the homeless, but to uphold their dignity and self-respect.

Gloria Brown is the kitchen manager for the City Union Mission Family Center, which provides long-term shelter for homeless families. One Saturday a month, Merrick and a group of volunteers bring food and prepare and serve a breakfast to the residents, who number as many as 120. Ms. Brown says that instead of having the residents line up and receive their food at the serving window, as is customary, Merrick puts out place mats, silverware, and a small vase of flowers on each table. She and her helpers then take the residents’ orders.

“They wait on them like they are in a restaurant,” Brown says. “She just likes to treat them with respect and let them know that somebody cares about them.”

“Marcia serves,” says Gary Blakeman, a retiree and volunteer who has worked with Merrick for seven years. “She doesn’t just dole out food. She actually serves the homeless. And she does what she does with love. She’s truly concerned with their welfare.”

Merrick says her work of providing care and hope for society’s disadvantaged began when she was in high school in Wichita, Kan. She made several church mission trips, one for an entire summer, where she first encountered large numbers of needy people.

“I realized what a difference it makes in how I felt, caring for other people,” she says. “I didn’t know it then, but I think I was developing a heart for people who had been shunted aside by society.”

Her charitable work took a back seat to her own family for a time. But 10 years ago, when her daughter was 15, Merrick felt the need to resume her caring activities. At first, she matched up friends and acquaintances who had items they were willing to give away with people in need. The recipients were not just the homeless, but also victims of domestic violence, the unemployed, the recently divorced – pretty much anyone she knew of who had a need.

“It kind of snowballed from there,” she says. In 2001, as her activity increased and donors asked for tax write-offs, she started a nonprofit, Reaching Out Inc. Today, about 80 percent of her work is for the homeless.

Her organization works with an area church, which provides her with storage space for food, furniture, and supplies. An ever-changing roster of volunteers – school groups, church groups, friends, and acquaintances – help with decorating the bags, putting together hygiene bags (toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, clean pair of socks, and the like), baking cookies, and organizing food and clothing drives. Occasionally, volunteers go out with her on her rounds.

Merrick herself gets by modestly on alimony and a small pension. Circumstances may compel her to return to the paid workforce sometime this summer, which would necessitate an adjustment to her current grueling volunteer schedule. Regardless of what the future holds, she says, she will continue to work on behalf of the homeless in one way or another.

“I truly believe we can make a difference in their lives, and I don’t want anybody to ever think that somebody doesn’t care,” she says. “They’re homeless, but they’re still human.”
To learn more about Marcia Merrick’s work, go to

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Do you believe in superheroes? After you watch this video, you will.

Amy Pankratz, a stay-at-home mother of three in South Dakota, crafts custom capes for sick children and their siblings. She reads their story, she thinks about them, and she prays for them as she is making each cape...infusing it with special powers of hope and courage for each child. And it works! As 5-year-old Brooke Mulford (a.k.a "Super Brooke") says, "It helps me to be brave".

Superhero Capes Provide Hope & Inspiration for Sick Children

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Along the Thread of our Inner Sincerity

Along the Thread of our Inner Sincerity
by Adyashanti

Sincerity is a word that I often use in teaching to convey the importance of being rooted in the qualities of honesty, authenticity, and genuineness. There can be nothing phony or contrived in our motivations if we are to fully awaken to our natural and integral state of unified awareness. While teachings and teachers can point us inward to “the peace beyond all understanding,” it is always along the thread of our inner sincerity, or lack thereof, that we will travel. For the ego is clever and artful in the ways of deception, and only the honesty and genuineness of our ineffable being are beyond its influence. At each step and with each breath we are given the option of acting and responding, both inwardly and outwardly, from the conditioning of egoic consciousness which values control and separation above all else, or from the intuitive awareness of unity which resides in the inner silence of our being.

Without sincerity it is so very easy for even the greatest spiritual teachings to become little more than playthings of the mind. In our fast-moving world of quick fixes, big promises, and short attention spans, it is easy to remain on a very surface level of consciousness without even knowing it. While the awakened state is ever present and closer than your feet, hands, or eyes, it cannot be approached in a casual or insincere fashion. There is a reason that seekers the world over are instructed to remove their shoes and quiet their voices before entering into sacred spaces. The message being conveyed is that one’s ego must be “taken off and quieted” before access to the divine is granted. All of our ego’s attempts to control, demand, and plead with reality have no influence on it other than to make life more conflicted and difficult. But an open mind and sincere heart have the power to grant us access to realizing what has always been present all along.

[...] When you are earnest, you are both sincere and one-pointed; to be one-pointed means to keep your attention on one thing. I have found that the most challenging thing for most spiritual seekers to do is to stay focused on one thing for very long. The mind jumps around with its concerns and questions from moment to moment. Rarely does it stay with one question long enough to penetrate it deeply.

--By Adyashanti, from his essay, "The Indispensable Qualities of Awakening"

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Come to the Hunger Banquet

Come to the Hunger Banquet
posted by Ann Pietrangelo

You’re invited to the Hunger Banquet. Even better, how about hosting your own Hunger Banquet?

For more than 35 years, the Oxfam America Hunger Banquet® has brought attention to the fight against hunger and poverty. Now they’re providing online toolkits and a centralized action hub to create an interactive and transformative experience for today’s hunger activists.

At this very moment, one billion people in the world are chronically hungry. But hunger isn’t just about not having enough food, because there is more than enough food in the world — it’s about access to resources.
As our climate changes and weather becomes less predictable, farming is becoming more difficult. In 2009, hunger and malnutrition contributed to the deaths of more than three million children.

The Hunger Banquet
Anyone can host a Hunger Banquet where participants get to experience firsthand how food is distributed in the world and how our decisions affect others.

Hunger Banquet guests randomly draw tickets assigning them to a high-, middle-, or low-income tier. Each income level receives a corresponding meal:

• the 15 percent in the high-income tier are served a sumptuous meal
• the 35 percent in the middle-income section eat a simple meal of rice and beans
• the 50 percent in the low-income tier have small portions of rice and water

Guests can also assume characterizations that describe the situation of a specific person at the income level to which they’ve been assigned. Guests are invited to share their thoughts after the meal.

Participants are unlikely to depart with a satisfied appetite, but most will come away with a greater understanding of the problem of hunger — and a sincere desire to do something about it.

Visit Oxfam America and download the free toolkit and step-by-step suggestions and sample scripts. You can even check the online calendar for Hunger Banquets in your area.

In Oxfam America’s new short video, Charlyne Yi plays a slacker whose life is transformed when she attends an Oxfam America Hunger Banquet® event.

Read more:

YOU Can Help Fight Hunger with Oxfam America

If a hunger banquet isn’t your thing, Oxfam has lots of other ideas to get people thinking about world hunger.

• House Party: Get your friends and family together in an informal setting to work together on composing letters and making phone calls to legislators, or just having a discussion… the point is to get people thinking about world hunger and what they can do about it.

• Dining Hall Fast: Students can get their high school or university to hold a Dining Hall Fast, encouraging students to give up one meal and the food service company to donate a percentage of the cost of those meals to Oxfam.

• Interactive Games: “In Harm’s Way” is a 90-minute game that can be played with as few as 30 or as many as 150 people. Participants are assigned fictional roles that mirror real circumstances. Every 15 minutes represents one day. Players must respond to natural disasters and work to prevent disaster for their country’s poorest people. Oxfam provides materials necessary to play to the game.

• Skip a meal and donate the proceeds to help Oxfam fight hunger.

• Organize a benefit concert for Oxfam and feature your favorite local artists.

• Host a film screening and a discussion about the issues.

• Invite local businesses to donate items for a silent auction.

Read more:

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Down’s Syndrome Boy Scores a Touchdown!

Down’s Syndrome Boy Scores a Touchdown!

Today’s video is truly something special. In it, you’ll see a young man with Down’s Syndrome scoring a touchdown in a high school football game. It’s a dream of boys everywhere and this young man, who attends football practice every single day, does it.

But I think this video is much, much more than that when I consider all that is happening. First, clearly the two coaches got together and made this all possible. That type of coordination isn’t common in the trenches of high school football. And then all the players bought into it, allowing our guy to score the 50-yard TD and making it look real. That’s 21 young men giving this kid his dream.

That friends, is truly a Daily Kindness.

The Ike Special - Varsity Edition

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Crystal Eyes

Amazing and Hilarious Video showing a 12 year-old Lebanese girl who has baffled medical experts by producing razor sharp crystals from her eyes. Coming at a rate of seven a day, the crystals are razor sharp, but do not harm her eyes

Unquestionably one of the weirdest things we've ever seen. A 12 year-old girl from Lebanon has razor-sharp crystals coming out of her eyes.

Crystal Eyes

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Loretto Chapel in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Loretto Chapel in Santa Fe, New Mexico

The Inspiration By God Newsletter

Dear Friend,

I hope you will enjoy learning about a hidden gem in the Southwestern U.S.

Loretto Chapel was completed in 1878 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Due to a formidable error, it was built with no access to the choir loft twenty-two feet above. A ladder was suggested as a means to access the choir loft but that seemed far too impractical to the nuns. Several expert carpenters were consulted and the verdict was the same "building a staircase would take up too much room in the small church due to the height of the choir loft". The only two alternatives were to climb to the loft via a ladder or tear the entire balcony down and rebuild it.

Legend has it that the Sisters of the Chapel made a novena (a devotion consisting of nine separate days of prayers) to St. Joseph (the father of Jesus), the patron saint of carpenters. On the ninth and final day of prayer, a man appeared at the Chapel with a donkey and a toolbox looking for work. Months later, the elegant circular staircase which had two 360 degree turns with no visible means of support was completed, and the carpenter disappeared without pay or thanks. After searching for the man (an ad even ran in the local newspaper) and finding no trace of him, some concluded that he was St. Joseph himself, having come in answer to the sisters' prayers.

To this day questions surround the number of stair risers relative to the height of the choir loft and about the types of wood and other materials used in the stairway's construction.

Over the years many have flocked to the Loretto Chapel to see the Miraculous Staircase. The staircase has been the subject of many articles, TV specials, and movies including "Unsolved Mysteries" and the television movie titled "The Staircase."

We look forward to your comments on this "Angel".

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Cross on Interstate 40 Groom, Texas (near Pampa)


On a lonely stretch of highway just outside of Groom, Texas (near Pampa) stands a 19 story tall cross that can be seen for miles from any direction. The arm spans are 110 feet across.

It is constructed of a welded steel framework covered with steel sheeting.

This cross is the result of the efforts of Steve Thomas and family of Pampa, Texas. It took 250 welders eight months to complete, and weighs 1,250 tons. It stands alone, unsupported by guy wires, and can withstand
winds of 140 miles per hour.

Steve Thomas' son, Zack Thomas, is an All-Pro middle linebacker for the Miami Dolphins.

The cross is truly an awsome sight to behold. It is a dedication to the love and sacrifice of Jesus.

It is a spectacular sight at night, and is open for viewing 24 hours per day, seven days a week,and the site is truck and RV accessible.

It is anticipated that 10 million people a year will pass by the cross and a thousand a day will stop.

The cross is truly an awsome sight to behold. It is a dedication to the love and sacrifice of Jesus.

It is a spectacular sight at night, and is open for viewing 24 hours per day, seven days a week,and the site is truck and RV accessible.

It is anticipated that 10 million people a year will pass by the cross and a thousand a day will stop.

On a small hill facing the cross there are three bronze cross statues depicting the crucifixion of Jesus between two thieves.

The base of the cross is surrounded by life-sized bronze statues of Jesus depicting twelve stations of Jesus carrying the cross to Calvary.

Station 1 - Jesus is condemned. Station 2 - Jesus carries cross.

Station 3 - Jesus falls for the first time. Station 4 - Jesus meets his mother

Station 5 - Simon helps Jesus Station 6 - Veronica wipes the face of Jesus

Station 7 - Jesus falls the second time. Station 8 - Jesus comforts the women of Jerusalem.

Station 9 - Jesus falls the second time. Station 10 - Jesus is stripped of his garments.

Station 11 - Jesus is nailed to the cross. Station 12 - Jesus is crucified and dies on the cross for our sins.

Statues of Jesus crucified with two

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Dear sweet Friends, Let this weekend and week be full of Peace and Love. May you have positive energy and abundance in all you need, God Bless you. Melodie

Origin of the Pleiades - An Onondaga Legend

A long time ago a party of Indians went through the woods toward a good hunting-ground, which they had long known. They traveled several days through a very wild country, going on leisurely and camping by the way.

At last they reached Kan-ya-ti-yo, "the beautiful lake," where the gray rocks were crowned with great forest trees. Fish swarmed in the waters, and at every jutting point the deer came down from the hills around to bathe or drink of the lake. On the hills and in the valleys were huge beech and chestnut trees, where squirrels chattered, and bears came to take their morning and evening meals.

Onondaga Mask

The chief of the band was Hah-yah-no, "Tracks in the water," and he halted his party on the lake shore that he might return thanks to the Great Spirit for their safe arrival at this good hunting-ground. "Here will we build our lodges for the winter, and may the Great Spirit, who has prospered us on our way, send us plenty of game, and health and peace." The Indian is always thankful.

Onondaga Carving

The pleasant autumn days passed on. The lodges had been built, and hunting had prospered, when the children took a fancy to dance for their own amusement. They were getting lonesome, having little to do, and so they met daily in a quiet spot by the lake to have what they called their jolly dance. They had done this a long time, when one day a very old man came to them. They had seen no one like him before. He was dressed in white feathers, and his white hair shone like silver. If his appearance was strange, his words were unpleasant as well. He told them they must stop their dancing, or evil would happen to them. Little did the children heed, for they were intent on their sport, and again and again the old man appeared, repeating his warning.

Onondaga bag

The mere dances did not afford all the enjoyment the children wished, and a little boy, who liked a good dinner, suggested a feast the next time they met. The food must come from their parents, and all these were asked when they returned home. "You will waste and spoil good victuals," said one. "You can eat at home as you should," said another, and so they got nothing at all. Sorry as they were for this, they met and danced as before. A little to eat after each dance would have made them happy indeed. Empty stomachs cause no joy.

One day, as they danced, they found themselves rising little by little into the air, their heads being light through hunger. How this happened they did not know, but one said, "Do not look back, for something strange is taking place." A woman, too, saw them rise, and called them back, but with no effect, for they still rose slowly above the earth. She ran to the camp, and all rushed out with food of every kind, but the children would not return, though their parents called piteously after them. But one would even look back, and he became a falling star. The others reached the sky, and are now what we call the Pleiades, and the Onondagas Oot-kwa-tah.

Every falling or shooting star recalls the story, but the seven stars shine on continuously, a pretty band of dancing children.

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