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SFHF_SilverMagazine_March_2024_Detox_LeaderboardThe Westin Nova Scotian Wellness

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Resonance

Meditating with Eddie Murphy

If you think for a moment, there is a connection between meditation and comedy. First of all, they both require practice and a light touch. But it goes deeper than that. For the last six months I’ve been taking online meditation classes with Yogendra Mishra, who lives in Rishikesh, India in the foothills of the Himalaya mountains. He practices various styles and has been teaching for 35 years. Yogiji is not one of those celebrity yogis but he’s very wise. He has a light touch. In fact, he can be very funny. Doesn’t take himself too seriously. For the first few months it was a hard slog. I moved around the house, starting upstairs in the cold of winter, moving to the living room in spring, looking out the window and seeing the beautiful red fox, the jays and pheasants, then moving to the lower level where I start at

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Resonance

The animals will know

Paddling up the meandering tidal river near Parrsboro, NS on the Bay of Fundy, I saw eagles sitting in trees, flying overhead. The immatures, those without the distinctive white head and tail feathers, are even larger than the adults because their feathers are bigger. Moving inland with the tide, I hardly had to paddle as the river filled with seawater. My kayak glided underneath a tree branch where a large eagle watched me carefully. When I was almost underneath, he dropped from the branch and flew off. I was so close that I could hear the loud “whoosh whoosh” as his wings beat against the still air. A few minutes later, five small cormorants circled overhead looking for a landing spot. Usually, they are shy birds so I was surprised when they swooped down and landed just in front of the boat and stayed there for a little while. Then

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Health

Mindfulness: The Darker Side

There’s no doubt that mindfulness can and has helped millions of people. New research is showing there can also be a downside. From helping reduce anxiety and stress to being more focused, mindfluness has many benefits and has even been incorporated into prison programs in the U.S. and Canadian systems. New research from the University at Buffalo however, suggests that mindfulness can make us more selfish and impact our social behaviours. The research looked at a rang of what are called prosocial behaviours, or the range of behaviours we have when we’re around other people. From how we interact with others to the actions we may take in certain settings. In the research, Dr. Michael Poulin, an assistant professor of psychology looked at how people view themselves and their place in society. In Asian countries, people tend to see their relationships with others as interdependent versus in countries like Canada,

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Health

Finding kindness and compassion

There are many ways in which we harm both ourselves, and others. Open up your mind and let go of negativity with these tips. The world needs more of our kindness. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is one of the oldest sources of yoga philosophy dating back to 2500 BCE. Sutras mean threads, and this work was put together by Patanjali’s students as a way to record his teachings. Originally passed through generations orally, it continues to be one of the most important resources when looking to deepen our yoga practice. It is from the Sutras that the “Eight Limbs of Yoga” are first described. The eight limbs being: Yamas: social code of ethics to which there are five »  Ahimsa or non-violence »  Satya or truth »  Asteya or non-jealousy »  Brahmacharya or moderation »  Apparigraha or non-coveting Niyamas: personal code of ethics to which there are five » 

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Resonance

Alone together

We humans are social animals. That’s why social isolation is so hard on us. Some darn virus came out of nowhere and now all over the world people are being told what they can’t do. The hardest part is the “who” part. In lockdown, partial or total, however your jurisdiction defines it, there are people you can’t meet face to face: family, friends, neighbours, colleagues. Near and far. You can’t invite them over. You can’t meet in a restaurant – or even at the office. You can’t drive to see them, or take a train, a ship or an airplane. It sucks. So what do you do? Answer: whatever you can. I don’t go anywhere. The last time I did, pre-lockdown, I ended up taking a Covid test. It was negative. Living in suburban Nova Scotia, I get to bicycle and take out my kayak on a nearby lake. I

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Resonance

Equinox

Morning Zoom meditations with Yogi Yogendra Mishra. He is in India. I am in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Chant the mantra out loud, then silently, then lie in Shivasana (corpse pose). “Om Shanti, om shanti, om shanti. Peace, peace, peace,” he says. “Become the master of your mind, or it will be the master of you.” It is the Equinox, the time of equal nights and days. Traditional cultures didn’t have atomic clocks, but they were aware of the seasons. They were more scientific than most modern humans, who can’t find north without a GPS. According to ancient traditions, we are moving into goddess energy – the fecundity of spring. Traditional cultures have their rituals, gods and goddesses, symbolizing the passage of time, the seasons, birth and death. They are in tune with nature. In Nova Scotia, for a few days in mid-March we have new snow. It is cold. I

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Travel

Quebec spiritual retreats

Does your soul need a break from your busy life! Try a spiritual retreat au Québec. What if, say, you want to get away from it all and you don’t happen to have your own cottage? And what if wanting to get away from it all includes getting closer to your inner self? What if you wanted to do this in one of the oldest cultures in North America, indigenous people aside? Let’s says, Quebec? Given the deep, historical roots of doctrine-oriented religious practice in Québec, it is surprising that present-day Québec is so genuinely interested in non-traditional forms of spiritual quests through a true diversity of offerings. Or perhaps it is because of its long religious history that so many diverse and distinct spiritual centres are operating in the province, and have been for many a year.  Shivanada Ashram Camp, Val-Morin The Shivananda Ashram in Val-Morin, in the Laurentian

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Mind

The western shift in spirituality

In the past few decades, many Westerners have moved away from traditional religion. How did we get here, and where are we going? Whatever happened a few weeks ago now seems dated. Lately, it feels as if we are travelling at warp speed, witnessing a world of chaos and angst at every turn. Pondering that thought, I floated down the rabbit hole and began to conjure up memories of my childhood — how church and all the activities associated with it furnished such a solid grounding for my otherwise chaotic home life. Religion, doctrine, and community all provided a solid sanctuary for me. Until it didn’t. There was no one reason or particular motive that disconnected me, but, as I reflect, it clearly was a series of conscious and unconscious happenings, personally and culturally, that created the slow drift away. The last time I went to church was a couple

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Longevity

Achieving flow state

You have been practicing the instrument for a while now. At first, your fingers were clumsy and the right sound appeared only occasionally. Now, after months of practice, you are feeling the groove. You look forward to playing. Then today, something was different. The music just came. An hour flew by and your fingers seemed to have a life of their own. You have been taking ballroom dancing lessons. Tonight there is an informal competition to let couples show their stuff. Eyes follow as you glide around the room. Just a few months ago this would’ve been unthinkable. Now it is fun. You are comfortable putting on a show. You are kayaking on the ocean. There is a light breeze and a slight swell. You can travel for miles this way. You are alert to the changing winds and the tide but the boat seems to move itself. You watch the

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