The Healing Power of Siesta Key Beach: The Secret is in the Sand.

Sarasota, a beautiful city on the southwestern shores of Florida’s Gulf of Mexico, is located about an hour south of Tampa. It is home to Siesta Key, a pristine white-quartz crystal beach, voted number one of the “Top-10 Best Beaches in the United States.” Sarasota is a popular tourist spot for beach loving vacationers from around the globe, but there’s something special that runs much deeper about the town of Sarasota. From the moment you arrive, if you pay attention, you can tell that it’s a different place. No city of a similar size has as many spiritual centers, alternative medicine practitioners, energy workers, healers, yoga centers, metaphysical bookstores, holistic teachers, meditati

Tears of Awakening

A student monk was caught stealing at the temple. The other monks brought the matter to Bankei's attention to expel the thief from the community, but the master ignored the request. When the offending monk was caught stealing again, the other monks drew up a petition demanding his expulsion, announcing that otherwise they would all leave the temple. Bankei called the monks together and said, "You are welcome to go elsewhere if you feel you must. But consider the case of this poor monk. Unlike the rest of you, he doesn't even know the difference between right from wrong. If I don't keep him as a student and teach him, who will?" The thief was said to have burst into tears when he heard Ba

Aikido Practice: A Healing Therapy

Sharing a perspective on Aikido practice as a healing therapy is much needed in today's world. The purpose of Aikido training is the harmonization of the self with others and the world. Through purification breathing exercises and dynamic meditation or martial technique (budo) the path becomes clear - we must join our energies for a positive and exponential effect in the world. The way that I view Aikido Practice is as a healing therapy for the body, mind and spirit. When you come into the dojo, you sit quietly for a moment with your eyes closed, looking to correct your posture, to relax, to be natural and to bring yourself into a state of mind that is connected, responsive, open, that feels

The 47 Ronin

(The shogun's messengers tell Asano Naganori to commit suicide. Utagawa Kuniyasu, c. 1815.) One of the most famous episodes in Japanese history is honoured on the traditional date of December 14th. It happened when Japan was ruled from Edo (now Tokyo) by the Tokugawa Shoguns, with the emperors reduced to a ceremonial role. In 1701, Lord Kira, the shogun's master of ceremonies, knowing his long-time enemy Daimyo Asano to be a man easily brought to anger, deliberately provoked Lord Asano into drawing his sword on the shogun's grounds - a capital offense. For this breach of etiquette, Lord Asano was ordered to commit "seppuku" (ritual suicide). He was buried in a temple outside Edo and his esta

"All is written in the stars..."

On the eve of a great battle, Miyamoto Musashi noticed that the Daimyo (samurai lord) with whom he had taken service seemed unable to focus on the impending battle. Asked what was the matter, the daimyo told Musashi that an astrologer had predicted that he, the daimyo, would soon die. Shocked by this, Musashi called for the astrologer in the daimyo's presence. When the astrologer presented himself, Musashi questioned the wizard. "Where do you get this information that our lord will soon die?" Musashi asked. "All is written in the stars," the astrologer answered cryptically. "And when do the stars say you will die?" Musashi asked. "The stars predict that I will live a long life, find fame

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