Mindfulness and Mobile Devices

By Sunny Chayes

Often what comes to mind when I think of my iPhone is how mindful it really isn’t. I think of the many times the person with whom I am sharing a meal has picked up their phone to make a call or look something up on the internet or to return a TEXT. Sadly, I also must consider the times I have done it to others.

As our minds are being sucked ever more deeply into the electronic never world, is it possible that these same little mobile instigators could possibly help us recover some of the precious mindfulness that is lost to them? A slew of mobile app developers thinks so.

Here are some suggestions. If we are going to spend some time, and potentially some money, on mindfulness apps, you might consider these.

Headspace and Calm: (https://www.headspace.com), (https://www.calm.com/)
We are lumping them together because they are both wonderful apps that offer very similar things. While there are subtle differences between what they offer, both are lovely. Many reviewers say that it comes down to the meditation guide’s voice that one prefers. Headspace uses the Buddhist trained, proper English voice of Andy Puddicombe while Calm uses the well-regarded female voice of Tamara Lovett. Both have free/trial versions of the app, so it may be great to try them both for a week at a time. Both apps are beautifully designed, yet very far apart in graphical taste. If you are visually driven person, you might find your preference of aesthetics to be your main decision driver.

The Goodness: For guided meditations, they’re beautifully effective for a combination of ease-of-use and quality.

The Drawbacks: Pricey compared to other options.

Perfect for you If: You are looking for a meditation app which provides a curated, high-quality guided meditations for adults or children, and you are not particularly price conscious. Price for full version – $12.95/mo for Calm, $12.99/mo For Headspace.

Insight Timer: (https://insighttimer.com/)
If you are a fan of guided meditations, but don’t enjoy paying the premium price, Insight Timer is your app. The trade off here is that Insight Timer is an open platform for seemingly anyone to post a meditation. It is up to you to choose wisely. The brilliance of the open platform is that there are literally thousands of meditations to choose from and many of those are extremely high-quality. A premium version of Insight Timer allows you to download your favorites for offline use and the app also offers premium 10-day courses ranging from “Learn to Mindfully Manage Stress and Anxiety” to “Heal Through the Power of Sound.”

The Goodness: The best app around for a large selection of guided meditations without the premium design and hand holding.

The Drawbacks: Requires a bit more investment of time to get what you are looking for.

Perfect for you If: You are looking for high quality guided meditations and don’t mind spending some time searching for teachers or meditation guides that suit your tastes and needs. Insight Timer is entirely free for the basic version. Premium — $4.99/mo and 10-day courses are $4.99 each.

Vibe: (https://vibe.me/)
The Vibe app takes a different approach to mindfully enabling your device. This app focuses on providing daily guidance in addition to meditation. The company has recruited a fairly impressive group of ‘thought leaders’ in mindfulness and spirituality who guide users with “light touch messaging” throughout the day. The messaging includes a daily post, short meditations and periodic reminders of the daily post called “Vibes,” which pop up a few times during the day. According to the app’s website, this method of integrating a single mindfulness principle into your life each day can have profound effects on happiness, well being, even quality of sleep with minimal time commitment from the user. The app also includes a basic meditation timer for those who already know the basics of meditation.

The Goodness: Perspective-changing daily guidance from thought leaders in mindfulness and spirituality.

The Drawbacks: It would be great to see a solid library of guided meditations with this app. I understand the guided meditations will be coming soon. In the meantime, perhaps combine with Insight Timer for guided meditations.

Perfect for you If: You are a busy person and want to advance your mindfulness with less time per day. Free 7-day trial and then $2.99/mo.

Muse: (https://choosemuse.com)

If you struggle with meditation (Inside secret – most of us do. It’s part of the process) and feel that you just can’t quiet your mind enough to find your inner peace, then you might want to check out Muse. Muse is not primarily an app — the centerpiece of this technology is the biofeedback headband which doubles as a headset (for sound). The headband works with the Muse app which effectively runs the device. When you meditate with the headband, Muse plays meditative sounds such as birds chirping, as well as listens to the activity in your brain. If your brain is too active (sometimes called “monkey brain”), the built-in headset provides an audible change in the sounds to something less calming, such as traffic or loud waves crashing. As you return your mind to a meditative state, the app provides the positive feedback to the brain in by returning to the gentler, more meditative sounds.

The Good: Tests have shown that the Muse actually works in helping people relax more quickly into a meditative state.

The Drawbacks: If you are serious about learning to meditate, learning to coexist with your thoughts is largely the point. Depending on a crutch might be counterproductive.

Perfect for you if: You are beginning to meditate and struggle more than most with monkey brain, this might be the shortcut you are looking for. $200 on Amazon.

How lovely it is that these creative companies used what is so ubiquitous in our culture to connect us deeply within ourselves. How cool is that?

About Sunny Chayes:
Sunny Chayes is an Author, a Sacred Social Activist, Host of The Sunny Chayes Show enjoyed on IHeartRadio, ITunes, ABC Talk/News, Mindalia TV and UBN Radio and Chief Strategic Partner and Feature Writer for Whole Life Times. http://www.YouTube/sunnychayes

10 Questions with Mitch Horowitz

1. Your latest book is “The Miracle Club: How Thoughts Become Reality”, so let’s address the 30 million copy selling elephant in the room. How does your book differ from “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne?

I applaud Rhonda’s achievements but her book leaves unsettled the real elephant in the room—which is the persistence of tragedy and catastrophe; what happens when mind-power methods appear not to work; and a theory of why thoughts makes things happen. The Miracle Club is, I hope, a complete journey into all facets of the seeker’s experience. It revives the serious and critical interpretation of New Thought methods that I think we haven’t seen since the death of William James in 1910.

2. What sparked your interest in New Thought?

I came to realize at a certain point in my life, even as I couldn’t always admit it to myself, that my spiritual search is really a search for personal power and agency; I yearned for a spirituality that was, above all, practical and actionable. Some people may be turned off by that, and may feel that I’ve entirely missed the point of the search. But I submit that this is what most of us are after, regardless of what we tell ourselves. New Thought meets the seeker in that place, while also holding to ethical standards.

3. Do you feel like there is a convenient excuse of victim blaming in positive thought circles? Like the chronic pain sufferer who doesn’t experience improvement, they just didn’t want it enough?

Although there isn’t as much “victim blaming” in New Thought circles as critics suppose (often critics who have never attended a single church service or read their way through a New Thought book), some of this does persist. There’s no denying it. My contention is that we live under many laws and forces, of which the mind is one vital part. New Thoughters need to use this idea to develop a theology of suffering, which is something we’ve never fully done. This is increasingly important today as people are dealing with end-of-life issues that weren’t as prevalent at the movement’s founding more than a century ago.

4. You discuss the importance of establishing a moral code before undertaking positive thought work. Why is that?

It’s very easy to fall into an attitude of soft hedonism when using New Thought methods. I’ve done it myself. In order to go through life in a manner that is nonviolent—by which I mean not violating other people’s ability to pursue their own highest aims—it is vital to have some code of honor or ethical or religious teaching at your back. This is one area in which New Thought excels because it stands on gospel ethics.

5. In your book you describe the hypnagogic state, something I’ve never encountered before. Can you explain what it is for my readers and its importance in New Thought?

This is the extremely relaxed state that we all enter just before drifting off to sleep at night or when coming to in the morning. It is a state of mind that can seem dreamy and hallucinogenic, yet one in which we remain cognizant and able to direct our attention. Both sleep researchers and psychical experimenters have discovered that the mind is extremely supple, suggestible, and sensitive at such times. This is a natural state in which to use affirmations, visualizations, intentions, and prayers. It is a time when you can impress your subconscious mind with an idea, so to speak. In The Miracle Club I maintain that it is also “prime time” in which episodes of extra-physicality have been found to occur, such as mind-to-mind communication or telepathy. This is not fantasy. It is a cycle that comes to all of us naturally, and it can be used.

6. If I recall correctly, didn’t President Trump come up through a prosperity ministry, a branch of the positive thought family tree? Can we attribute any of his success/survival to this?

Yes, the Trump family was close to the Rev. Norman Vincent Peale (1898-1993), author of The Power of Positive Thinking. There’s no question that Trump has used and harnessed these methods, but without ethics. His life is the story of the unprincipled pursuit of power. This is why I alluded above to the need for a serious ethical code. But do not despair. As the saying goes, “Use the force, Luke.”

7. Is it possible for someone to be using the power of positive thought without training or structure, just through their own force of will?

Absolutely. The poet William Blake did this. Figures throughout history realized organically that thought possesses causative dimensions, and acted on this without naming or devising a system. Blake famously wrote that if “the doors of perception were cleansed” we could see life in its infinitude. That statement more or less captures the theology of Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science.

8. When you’re not busy thinking positively, what do you do with your time?

I wish I were always busy thinking positively! I came to this philosophy because I am not a positive thinker by nature, so it’s a real challenge for me. But mostly I raise my two boys, ages 11 and 14, I write, I bike and exercise, and I hang with people I love. I watch very little TV (with the exception of Rachel Maddow and Better Call Saul). I do like to hang with close friends, eat a bit, and imbibe nature’s pleasures.

9. What’s next? Do you have an upcoming projects my readers can look forward to?

One of the projects I’m excited about is a movie version of the occult book The Kybalion, which I’m working on with my friend Ronni Thomas, a brilliant director whose work has been featured at the Tribeca Film Festival and who is known, among other things, for the digital series Midnight Archive. Ronni and I are making a documentary-style feature about this book, exploring its historical backstory and illuminating its principles.

Parting shot! Ask us here at The Magical Buffet any one question?

It is same the question I ask myself: What do you want?

I always tell people who asked me this that I want world peace and a body like Cindy Crawford’s. And that is as true today as when I said it in junior high school. However given the nature of your book, I’m going to tell you what I really want (what I really, really want) (the Spice Girls cannot be denied). I’d like to make a comfortable living doing The Magical Buffet, which is getting to share all the great books, products, and people I enjoy with everyone else.

About Mitch Horowitz:
Mitch Horowitz is a PEN Award-winning historian, longtime publishing executive, and a leading New Thought commentator with bylines in The New York Times, Time, Politico, Salon, and The Wall Street Journal and media appearances on Dateline NBC, CBS Sunday Morning, All Things Considered, and Coast to Coast AM. He is the author of several books, including Occult America and One Simple Idea. He lives in New York City. Visit him at https://mitchhorowitz.com/.

The Instrument of Freedom

An excerpt from The Meaning of Happiness by Alan Watts

We have examined something of the meaning of unhappiness, of the war between the opposites in the human soul, of the fear of fear, of man’s consequent isolation from nature, and of the way in which this isolation has been intensified in the growth of civilization. We have also shown how man is intimately and inseparably connected with the material and mental universe, and that if he tries to cut himself off from it he must perish. In fact, however, he can only cut himself off in imagination, otherwise he would cease to exist, but we have yet to decide whether this elusive thing called happiness would result from acceptance of the fact of man’s union with the rest of life. But if this is true we have to discover how such an acceptance may be made, whether it is possible for man to turn in his flight into isolation and overcome the panic which makes him try to swim against the current instead of with it. In the psychological realm this swimming against the current is called repression, the reaction of proud, conscious reason to the fears and desires of nature in man. This raises the further question of whether acceptance of nature involves just a return to the amorality of the beast, being simply a matter of throwing up all responsibility, following one’s whims, and drifting about on the tide of life like a fallen leaf. To return to our analogy: life is the current into which man is thrown, and though he struggles against it, it carries him along despite all his efforts, with the result that his efforts achieve nothing but his own unhappiness. Should he then just turn about and drift? But nature gave him the faculties of reason and conscious individuality, and if he is to drift he might as well have been without them. It is more likely that he has them to give expression to immeasurably greater possibilities of nature than the animal can express by instinct, for while the animal is nature’s whistle, man is its organ.

Even so, man does not like to be put down to the place of an instrument, however grand that instrument may be, for an instrument is an instrument, and an organ does what it is made to do as subserviently and blindly as a whistle. But this is not the only consideration. It may be that man has a wrong idea of what his self is. In the words of the Hindu sage Patanjali, “Ignorance is the identification of the Seer with the instruments of seeing.” Certainly man as instrument is an obedient tool whether he likes it or not, but it may be that there is something in man which is more than the instrument, more than his reason and individuality which are part of that instrument and which he mistakenly believes to be his true self. And while as an instrument he is bound, as this he is free, and his problem is to become aware of it. Finding it, he will understand that in fleeing from death, fear, and sorrow he is making himself a slave, for he will realize the mysterious truth that in fact he is free both to live and to die, to love and to fear, to rejoice and to be sad, and that in none of these things is there any shame. But man rejects his freedom to do them, imagining that death, fear, and sorrow are the causes of his unhappiness. The real cause is that he does not let himself be free to accept them, for he does not understand that he who is free to love is not really free unless he is also free to fear, and this is the freedom of happiness.

About Alan Watts:
Alan Watts (January 6, 1915 – November 16, 1973) was a British-born American philosopher, writer, speaker, and counterculture hero, best known as an interpreter of Asian philosophies for a Western audience. He wrote over 25 books and numerous articles applying the teachings of Eastern and Western religion and philosophy to our everyday lives.

Excerpted from the book “The Meaning of Happiness: The Quest for Freedom of the Spirit in Modern Psychology and the Wisdom of the East”. Copyright ©2018 by Joan Watts and Anne Watts. Printed with permission from New World Library — www.newworldlibrary.com.

Calling All Earthlings

You guys. I don’t even know where to begin. I was given the opportunity to watch the documentary “Calling All Earthlings”, a film by Jonathan Berman. This movie has it all, aliens, Howard Hughes, free energy, the FBI, Tesla, the military, and a death…or possibly murder.

“Calling All Earthlings” explores a mid-century UFO cult led by one-time Howard Hughes confidante, George Van Tassel. Van Tassel claimed to have combined alien guidance with the writings of inventor/physicist Nikola Tesla, and other controversial science, to build an electromagnetic time machine he dubbed “The Integratron.” Was he insane? Or could the dome really break through the boundaries of space, time, and energy? FBI agents worked against Van Tassel and the alternative community that formed out of his work. Would he finish the Integratron before the government finished him?

The film examines the roots of the Peace Movement, Burning Man, and even the FBI’s notorious COINTELPRO program. The verité tale of Van Tassel and his dome is told by relatives, neighbors, skeptics, believers, scientists, healers, artists, and historians. The film features the “stewards” and owners of the Integratron, the Karl sisters; Dr. Kevin Starr, the preeminent historian of California; Eric Burdon, Singer for The Animals and War; and the legendary Drs. J.J. and Desiree Hurtak.

I say this in all seriousness, why hasn’t this story been made into an actual movie as opposed to documentary? The story of George Van Tassel has all the makings for a fantastic Christopher Nolan film! Here’s the trailer:

Interested? “Calling All Earthlings” is available on Video on Demand in the following platforms: iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Google Play, AT&T U-verse, DirecTV, Dish Network/Sling TV, Hoopla, Sony Playstation, Swank, Vudu, Xbox, Youtube Movies, In Demand (Comcast, Cox, Spectrum, etc.) and Vubiquity (Frontier, Verizon Fios, etc.). Hopefully it will be available on one of the streaming services like Netflix or Hulu in future!

The Life You Were Born to Live

By Dan Millman

Author Jack London once proposed that “It takes hard writing to make easy reading.” The Life You Were Born to Live took some hard writing. It was born from twenty small pages of handwritten notes, taken from several lectures given by an unusual mentor in 1985. Eight years passed, bringing experiences and insights from hundreds of personal life readings — eight years before I began teaching the system to small groups of helping professionals — eight years before those twenty handwritten pages expanded into a 500 page book to clarify and focus earlier work of many esoteric traditions.

One key element of this book is the section on spiritual laws specific to each life path for individuals born between 1750 and the year 2000. These laws, expressed as guiding principles, can help anyone overcome the hurdles on their own life path. So it is not only a book providing insight, but also action. Most people who read about their life path are astonished at the accuracy of the material. Especially when it makes no scientific sense how the date of one’s birth can provide a doorway to accurate, reliable insight into the core drives and qualities of one’s life.

As I explain in the Preface of the new 25th Anniversary Edition: We all share an innate desire for meaning, direction, and purpose — a desire as important to our psychological growth as eating is to our biological survival.

Yet few of us consciously recognize that we even have a specific life path or purpose. Meanwhile, our potential and destiny call out to us, sending messages through dreams, intuitions, and our innermost longings — hidden drives that define our personality, shape our careers and relationships, and influence the quality and direction of our life.

Until we recognize and live in accord with our underlying purpose, life may feel like a puzzle with missing pieces, as if there’s something we’re here to do but we can’t quite grasp it. As actress Lily Tomlin once quipped, “I always wanted to be somebody, but maybe I should have been more specific.” Lacking these specifics, we work and rest, eat and sleep, make money and spend it, and experience our share of pleasures and difficulties, even as clarity about our life purpose eludes us.

Over the years, I’ve written a number of books about the peaceful warrior’s approach to life — facing our inner battles with courage, compassion, and higher wisdom. The Life You Were Born to Live, one element of my work, presents the Life-Purpose System, a tool for insight and a map that reveals your life path up the mountain you’re here to climb and the most direct route to reach the summit.

The Life-Purpose System enables you to expand your awareness of not only your path but the paths of friends, loved ones, clients, colleagues, and others. The insights and guidance provided can help psychotherapists, physicians, physical therapists, bodyworkers, social workers, managers, teachers, coaches, and other helping professionals enhance the effectiveness of their ongoing work, adding a measure of compassion and insight.

Beginning in 1985, I applied, tested, and refined this system by working with thousands of people. The system’s strength lies in its relative simplicity and directness, and its demonstrated effectiveness over time. The enthusiastic responses I’ve received inspired me to write this book and to expand and revise it.

Many systems of personality typing exist in both psychological and spiritual traditions. While self-analysis can generate the impulse to change, the Life-Purpose System provides the means — namely, specific spiritual laws keyed to each life path to help us transform our health, our relationships, our work, and every other facet of our life.

For the 25th Anniversary Edition — the first major revision since the original publication — I’ve added new life-path information to include all those born in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. While the original edition addressed the thirty-seven life paths of those born in the twentieth century, this edition includes all forty-five life paths now possible. I’ve also added new insights about those working single-digit birth numbers, which only began appearing in the new millennium, and I reveal more about the origins of this particular system and how I came to share it with you. Other refinements reflect the added knowledge of twenty-five more years of real-life experience of many thousands of individuals working with the system. Even those familiar with earlier editions of the book can gain new insights.

The Life-Purpose System has illumined my life and the lives of many others, bringing new levels of clarity and compassion. I trust that this book will bring fresh appreciation and empathy, generating an impulse to make a positive difference for friends, family, and maybe even our planet. In the meantime, may this book guide you toward the fulfillment of your personal destiny — the life you were born to live.

I am gratified that my publisher, New World Library, encouraged me to make significant revisions and updates to the new, 25th Anniversary Edition of The Life You Were Born to Live. The number of life paths has increased from thirty-seven (for those born before 2000), to forty-five life paths, including relatively rare one-digit birth numbers for some children born after the year 2000. I’ve also written sections about what makes these single-digit numbers unusual, and how that relates to so-called “master numbers.”

If you are new to this work, and have healthy skepticism, I only ask that you keep an open mind. I also refer you to my website — www.peacefulwarrior.com — and to the free Life Purpose Calculator, which will reveal your birth number (and the birth numbers of friends and loved ones), and provides a few words about your life path — the beginning of greater insight and compassion as you discover the life you were born to live.

About Dan Millman:
Dan Millman, former world-champion gymnast, coach, martial arts teacher, and college professor, is the author of seventeen books published in twenty-nine languages and shared across generations to millions of readers. His internationally bestselling book “Way of the Peaceful Warrior” was adapted to film in 2006. Dan speaks worldwide to people from all walks of life. He lives in New York City. www.PeacefulWarrior.com.

From the book, “The Life You Were Born to Live — Revised 25th Anniversary Edition”. Copyright © 1993, 2018 by Dan Millman. Reprinted with permission from New World Library. NewWorldLibrary.com

10 Questions with Judy Hall

1. What first sparked your interest in crystals?

I’ve been attracted by crystals since I was very small. My grandparents lived in the English Lake District and I spent a lot of time walking there with my grandfather picking up ‘shiny things.’ I amassed a wonderful collection of Quartzes. Later I found a rather strange mineral shop in Southend and bought masses of crystals from him. However, he wouldn’t identify anything so, when I found there was no crystal directory available, I ended up writing The Crystal Bible to record my experiences with them. Things snowballed from there.

2. What’s your favorite thing about working with crystals?

I love to work intuitively with them so that they can reveal themselves to me. I’ve been an astrologer for fifty years and always placed crystals on birthcharts when doing karmic readings to balance out the energies. This expanded into sharing them with workshop participants. Now I spend a great deal of time talking to crystal skulls and crystal dragons. It takes me into the multidimensional multiverse, a great place to explore.

3. You’re written so many books about the world of crystals, what sets your latest book, “The Crystal Seer” apart from the others?

(Judy Hall refrained from answering this question, so allow me to insert a little info/review here.) “The Crystal Seer” features content from Hall’s previous release “101 Power Crystals”. It is compact, full color 176 pages of beautiful photos and of course loads of info about crystals! It is a sturdy hardcover that will travel well in purses and messenger bags for crystal identification on the go. It’s good stuff!

4. These days you’ll find crystals in everything from skincare to bottled water. Do you find this further infusion of crystals into items beyond jewelry a good thing?

Crystals have always been in the most surprising of places, even the sparkplugs in your car and the paint on your walls. So this expansion doesn’t surprise me. But, as I believe that there is no such thing as ‘one crystal fits all’ I do feel you need to find the right product for you in order to gain benefit.

5. What’s one of your favorite crystals, and why?

The one crystal I wouldn’t be without is a Brandenberg Amethyst. It literally does everything I could ever require of it – and more.

6. Where do you get most of your crystals? (stores, websites, rock shows, etc.)

From all over the place! I still go out and pick them up from a very special crystal mountain – and any beach I happen to be on. I also buy from trusted websites, wholesalers, rock shows, favourite stores. I’m fortunate in that I’m often sent new crystals to assess. There are some lovely crystal suppliers out there.

7. If someone wants to start using crystals, where do you think they should begin?

Well, once they’ve cleansed and asked the crystal to work with them (how to do this is on my website www.judyhall.co.uk and in virtually all my books), I suggest they ask the crystal how it wants to work with them. Learning to listen to your crystals brings out the best in them. Having said that, I do have an online crystal course and several books that teach the basics. After that, you can follow your heart. Oh yes, and buy my Crystal Companion, it’s the best guide I’ve written. (see no.9)

8. What do you do when you’re not working with, or writing about, crystals?

I visit sacred sites, which are one of my great passions, although of course that often involves crystals (see my Crystals and Sacred Sites book). Quite often from the comfort of my armchair courtesy of a crystal. I travel as often as possible as I really enjoy seeing new places. I’m just off to see some amazing huge rock balls in Romania that are, allegedly, still growing. Really looking forward to that! I also play as often as possible with my great granddaughter who is four, that’s a great way to take a different view of the world. I devour books and I enjoy splashing paint on canvass to see what occurs.

9. What’s next? Do you have any upcoming projects my readers can look forward to?

Yes, my ‘Crystal Companion’ came out on 5th April. This is a book I am really excited about. It brings together information on crystals, introducing many of the latest finds, with how I personally work with them. It’s been colour-themed for the various areas of life in which you can use crystals so if someone works through it they’ll have explored just about every crystal possibility.

10. Parting shot! Ask us at The Magical Buffet any one question?

Well, rather than a question, I have a suggestion. How about asking all your subscribers to dedicate a crystal to world peace and hold it for just a minute a day. It could make such a difference at this troubled time.

(You heard the lady!)

About Judy Hall:
Judy Hall (Dorset, England) is a successful Mind-Body-Spirit author with over 45 MBS books to her credit including the million copy selling “Crystal Bible (volumes 1 and 2)”, “Encyclopedia of Crystals”, “101 Power Crystals”, “Crystals and Sacred Sites”, “The Crystal Seer”, “Crystal Prescriptions”, and “The Crystal Wisdom Healing Oracle”. A trained healer and counselor, Judy has been psychic all her life and has a wide experience of many systems of divination and natural healing methods. Judy has a B.Ed in Religious Studies with an extensive knowledge of world religions and mythology and an M.A. in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology at Bath Spa University. Her expertise are past life readings and regression; soul healing, reincarnation, astrology and psychology, divination and crystal lore. Judy has appeared four times in the Watkins list of the 100 most influential spiritual living writers and was voted the 2014 Kindred Spirit MBS personality of the year. An internationally known author, psychic, and healer, Judy conducts workshops in her native England and internationally. Her books have been translated into sixteen languages. You can learn more about her and her work at her website.

10 Questions with Angela Kaufman

1. Where did you get the idea for “Queen Up!”?

Queen Up! had a slow incubation period that began before I even thought of writing the book. It was inspired by my experience recovering from a mild TBI from a car accident. Prior to the accident I had learned about living in connection with the elements as part of spiritual practice. I began applying the concept of aligning with specific elemental energies to figure out what the heck I was going to do with life after the accident when it became clear that there was no going back to what used to be ‘normal’ for me.

I realized that others were facing similar before-and-after moments asking themselves the same questions I was asking myself. I began using the Tarot Queens in readings and then in coaching sessions to personify the elemental energies around and within us and knew I wanted to share this understanding with others. At first I was going to make it into a game, and then it became a party, and a workshop, and a coaching program before finally becoming a book.

2. In “Queen Up!” you use the four tarot queens. Do you feel like this could translate to the four tarot kings so men could “King Up!”?

Queen Up! draws from my experience and the issues women commonly brought to readings and sessions, however that being said men are certainly welcome to read the book and utilize this system. The Queens represent archetypal and elemental energy and so even masculine energy is represented by the Queens of Swords and Wands.

I would also recommend that men, or women interested in supporting the healing of the masculine in our society, read a book that addresses more of these issues specifically. One such book is King, Warrior, Magician, Lover by Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette.

3. Do you have a favorite tarot deck for use with “Queen Up!”?

My favorite deck that I have on hand most times for readings and work with clients is the Russian Tarot of St. Petersburg.

When I am doing my own Queen Up! work I typically envision the Queens without using a specific deck, and it is my hope that this is what Queen Up! will jump start for others- the process of working with cards as a means to a more personal relationship with the archetypes. I also love the cards Shaheen created and have come to visualize these images many times when doing this work.

I wanted Queen Up! to be eclectic however and so readers will find a variety of correspondences to various decks in the book so that it can be used in conjunction with any deck, or one of your own creating.

4. You offer beautiful companion cards by artist Shaheen Miro. How did that partnership come about?

I LOVE Shaheen’s artwork!!!! One of the many awesome things about working with Red Wheel/Conari is that they have been fantastic and supportive every step of the way including an early decision to use unique artwork to portray the Queens. Kathryn Sky-Peck, the Editor from Conari, suggested Shaheen as she was familiar with his work. She said “he gets the archetypes, and I think you guys have a similar vision here.” I trusted her instincts and am glad I did. Not only did Shaheen do a phenomenal job but I am loving collaborations we have done since connecting.

5. The cards don’t come with the book, if readers are interested where can they find them?

Queen Up! can be ordered as a kit via my website intuitiveangela.com, and as such will include the book, cards and a coupon on a follow up session. As there are only four Queen cards as opposed to a larger “deck” we decided it would make the most sense for the book to stand alone and the cards to be optional. Anyone who wishes to order the cards as an addition to a book purchased elsewhere can also e-mail me at intuitiveangela@gmail.com and I will be happy to provide details on ordering. Finally, cards and books will be available for sale at a number of book signings, workshops and other events taking place this spring and summer.

6. You run “Queen Up!” workshops. How do those differ from working through the book on your own?

Working through the process with the book allows a personal unfolding to take place in your own time and at your own pace. It can be more personal because the focus is on your daily process and exploration of your transition, however there are several benefits to a workshop. One of course is the interaction and connection with others. By sharing the energy with a group you may develop insights you wouldn’t have come to on your own, plus you have the benefit of seeing that we share more in common with each other- including our common struggles, losses, pains and triumphs, than we may otherwise realize. A workshop can either be an introduction to the process which the book takes further, or a deepening of the work you’ve already started in the book. Either way the book has plenty of resources and exercises to create an ongoing practice of empowerment and transformation.

7. You also do coaching, what is that like?

Coaching allows the best of both worlds. You can begin to work on the process on your own by reading the book, for example, but with coaching you have feedback, personalized guidance, accountability and guidance through the process. Programs are tailored to individual needs and support your specific goals. Some people are looking to heal and attract love, others want to make career changes, other people are going through complete personal shifts that touch every aspect of their lives. Coaching blends individual sessions with homework assignments, meditations and exercises like those found in the book, but with personalized direction.

8. If you could be any Queen, from the tarot, history, or fiction, who would it be?

I love this question! I can’t pick just one though. Like the Queen of Wands, I want to try everything.
From Tarot- the Queen of Pentacles because her energy is my least comfortable. From History, Queen Boudica, because it’s not whether you win or lose, but whether you have the courage to stand up to the Roman Empire. Fiction, Daenerys from Game of Thrones (though I shouldn’t speak so soon perhaps, not sure how the series ends)!

9. Do you have any upcoming projects our readers can look forward to?

I have a few irons in the fire but not developed enough to leave hints just yet. For the next several months I am looking forward to spreading the word about Queen Up! through a variety of events in NY, New England and New Jersey (all the New places apparently) and playing around with fiction and poetry when the mood strikes me.

10. Parting Shot! Ask us here at The Magical Buffet any one question.

Awesome! Thanks for the opportunity. What do you feel is the most important message or theme for readers right now? What would you like to see more writers in this genre focus on?

Wow! High pressure question! I think an important message right now is to support one another. When we support and help each other succeed everyone benefits. I think a lot of writers, particularly in the new age and spirituality genres have addressed this for quite some time, but now is the time for everyone to embrace that message and put it into practice.

About Angela Kaufmann:
Angela Kaufman is a Certified Intuitive Consultant, Psychic Medium, Intuitive Empowerment and Relationship Coach and LCSW. Angela’s mission is inspired by a lifelong interest in spirituality, metaphysics, Tarot, as well as a desire to challenge preconceived limitations. After a life changing accident, Angela left behind a blossoming career in Social Work to heal from a mild Traumatic Brain Injury. With an uncertain path ahead, Angela drew on her connection to Spirit to create a new, empowered and intuitively informed life. This would later become the basis for the Queen Up! system. Angela is author of the upcoming book Queen Up! Reclaim Your Crown When Life Knocks You Down (Conari 2018), and has co-authored Wicca; What’s the Real Deal? Breaking Through the Misconceptions, Sacred Objects, Sacred Space; Everyday Tools for the Modern Day Witch, and The Esoteric Dream Book; Mastering the Magickal Symbolism of the Subconscious Mind (all with Dayna Winters and Patricial Gardner, Schiffer Publishing). She also writes short stories blending social criticism with spirituality, and is an artist and activist.

Visit her at her website!

Wild Wild Country

You guys, I got a press release for a documentary series debuting on Netflix March 16th that looks crazy. I’m going to want to watch it and I thought you might too. Here’s the story:

When the world’s most controversial guru builds a utopian city in the Oregon desert, a massive conflict with local ranchers ensues; producing the first bioterror attack in US history, the largest case of illegal wiretapping ever recorded, and the world’s biggest collection of Rolls-Royce automobiles. Over six episodes, Directors Chapman Way and Maclain Way (“The Battered Bastards of Baseball”) and executive producers Mark and Jay Duplass (Duplass Brothers Productions) take viewers back to this pivotal, yet largely forgotten moment in American cultural history, one in which our national tolerance for the separation of church and state was sorely tested. Wild Wild Country is historical filmmaking brought to life on an epic scale. It’s a tale so wild that seeing means barely believing.

And here’s the trailer:

Crystal Healing for the Heart

I’m here to tell you that author Nicholas Pearson has done it again with his latest book “Crystal Healing for the Heart: Gemstone Therapy for Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual Well-Being”.

You may recall that back in April I reviewed Pearson’s “Crystals for Karmic Healing”. What he did for karma in that book, he does again for the heart in this one. What started as a workshop Pearson offered has evolved into a book that instructs you on how to use crystals to help with your heart. If you’re like me you probably assumed that it was going to be a big pile of love magic, but obviously (since I’m writing about it) it has so much more going on.

You can follow the workshop style of the book starting at “Exploring the Heart” and “Strengthening the Heart” all the way to the with “The Awakened Heart”. You can also pick and choose your focus, although Pearson makes a strong argument for taking the systematic approach.

Let me tell you what you REALLY want to know, if you’re like me. “Crystal Healing for the Heart” is loaded with beautiful, full color photos of gemstones and minerals. There are also photos of the author doing some of the exercises from the book.

Whether you have an a distinct interest in the heart or not, Pearson’s book does what he does best, makes you look at crystals in new and intriguing ways.

You can learn more about “Crystal Healing for the Heart” here.

What is Perceptual Intelligence?

An excerpt from Perceptual Intelligence: The Brain’s Secret to Seeing Past Illusion, Misperception, and Self-Deception by Brian Boxer Wachler, MD

I’ve seen different definitions of Perceptual Intelligence (PI), but I like to think of it as how we interpret and occasionally manipulate our experiences to distinguish fantasy from reality. PI relies heavily on our senses and instincts, but it is frequently influenced and distorted by our emotions and memories. Just as with other forms of intelligence, some people have higher PI than others. However, PI is an acquired skill. It begins with awareness and requires practice before it becomes habitual. So you may find yourself initially overreacting to a situation or circumstance, but with proper knowledge and a different perspective, you may start to ask yourself: Am I interpreting the situation correctly and making the best possible choice?

In their excellent book The User’s Manual for the Brain, authors L. Michael Hall and Bob G. Bodenhamer write, “The problem is never the person, never the experience, never what we have been through. The problem is always the frame, always the mental movie, always the higher frames running the movie.” It’s how we interpret what happens to us. If a bird with good aim uses my head for target practice, I could either get ticked off or say, “It’s good luck!” (which I learned from my Brooklyn-born dad).

When we have a vague memory of a painful incident, what purpose does it serve? Why bother keeping that potentially incorrect perception of the event when you can make something good come of it? This is where the sniper ability of Perceptual Intelligence comes in. A well-developed PI can identify and take down a faulty idea that tries to sabotage you. Having high PI is recognizing that your mind is more plastic than you think and can be molded and reworked as needed. PI can be improved, just like any other skill, such as driving a car, playing a sport, or learning an instrument.

Many people have survived traumatic incidents and made life decisions based on these experiences. Their perspectives on these events shaped their lives in either a positive or negative direction. It was not the incidents themselves that determined the outcomes; it was the individuals’ perceptions of the incidents and how they reacted afterward that formed their future. The “heroic” survivors we see on TV or read about in books merely applied principles of PI, whereas the “victims” remained immobilized.

Sharpening Your Perceptual Intelligence
As I’ve said, since PI is a learned skill, it requires practice before it becomes a habit. Someday you may find yourself initially reacting unfavorably to a situation. Rather than jumping to a negative interpretation, you can catch yourself and ask: Is this the best choice? If not, you can tap into your PI, change your perspective, and achieve a more favorable outcome.

My main objective in writing this book is to help you find your aha! moment regarding how you perceive and react to the world from the inside out. It is my sincere hope that, as you follow me on this journey, you will discover a heightened and enlightened understanding of the mystery that is human perception and make better decisions based on what your senses and intuition are telling you. In the chapters that follow I will reveal to you how understanding and maximizing PI is the key to what lurks behind your thoughts, behaviors, and feelings. You’ll learn about (not necessarily in this order):

• Why some people can’t resist “cat poop coffee” at $100 a cup
• How the brain helps us make sense of the world
• When the mind is healing us and when it’s doing more harm than good
• Why we hold on to our illusions
• Why we feel compelled to “return a favor”
• What is really happening when we see aliens in the middle of the night
• How low PI helps us enjoy art more
• Why some people see Jesus in their cornflakes
• How inflated PI can influence the PI of the masses
• Why some athletes and teams are winners and others chronic losers
• How reciprocity hijacks our perceptions
• How celebrity personas manipulate us
• How Mark Twain’s thoughts on masturbation reveal his high PI
• Why Kim Kardashian West has so much social impact
• How cults brainwash people with low PI
• Why our perceptions of time are so often distorted
• When to listen to your gut

A hundred years from now, we may not even recognize the science that is being practiced today. We will almost certainly have completely mapped the brain by then, yet we may still be no closer to understanding how we perceive the world. In the future, as with today, we will continue to perceive. Somehow, every day we will convert the inconceivable into the conceivable, as do all living things in their own inimitable way. As you’ll see in the next chapter, it all starts with the human brain.

Fasten your seatbelt and brace for impact.

About Brian Boxer Wachler, MD:
An expert on human perception and the author of Perceptual Intelligence, Brian Boxer Wachler, MD, has pioneered treatments in vision correction and Keratoconus, published eighty-four medical articles, and delivered 276 scientific presentations. He is the first choice of many doctors for their own eye treatments. He is the medical director of the Boxer Wachler Vision Institute in Beverly Hills and a staff physician at Los Angeles’s famed Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Fid him online at www.boxerWachler.com and www.perceptualintelligence.com.

Excerpted from the book Perceptual Intelligence: The Brain’s Secret to Seeing Past Illusion, Misperception, and Self-Deception. Copyright ©2017 by Brian Boxer Wachler. Printed with permission from New World Library — www.newworldlibrary.com.