I have always been a nature and animal lover and have always marveled at the amazing magic that animals provide to our world. From the distinctly unique characteristics and traits of the zebra’s stripes, to the vibrant color of the flamingo, to the interesting trunk of the elephant that seems to have a life of its own, to the mysterious beauty of the black panther- the color, power and personalities of animals truly makes our planet “pop” with life and fascination, which is why I was so drawn to Gaiam TV’s The Tiger and The Monk as it combines my adoration of animals with my boundless curiosity of ancient cultures and traditions.
Where Tigers Outnumber Monks
You will witness some extremely rare finds, as we are given access to the only Buddhist temple in the world that has tigers as house-pets, frolicking beautifully on the temple’s forest grounds with no chains and no history of anyone ever being hurt. And don’t let the documentary title fool you, The Tiger and the Monk is actually more like 16 tigers and 12 monks- all of them cohabiting in harmony inside Wat Pa Luangta Bua, a Buddhist monastery of meditation in Thailand which is also fittingly known as “The Tiger Temple of Thailand.”
The Only Temple of Its Kind
The temple wasn’t always this way, in fact it’s quite an unplanned animal sanctuary, stemming from a Buddhist tradition that says if someone tries to kill an animal and it survives, it must be brought to a temple and that is indeed how the very first tiger arrived. Aside from immersing in the stunning visual imagery and landscapes and what daily life is like for a Buddhist monk living in a forest temple teeming with tigers, you will also have the opportunity to explore:
- How the temple has expanded from tigers to also housing and feeding hundreds of other animals including wild boar, cattle, deer, peacocks and more!
- How the monks care for and maintain a harmonious living situation
- Why the monks believe the tigers are their equals and did not come to their temple by chance
- As the monks are forbidden to work for money, how they are able to pay for food and healthcare for 16 tigers and hundreds of other animals!
The Tiger and The Monk is a mesmerizing documentary that offers a beautiful shift in perspective of what everyday life is like in different parts of the world- would you be open to a lifestyle where your only meal of the day is breakfast, your main task is to meditate, to tending not just for your tiger but also to doing deep internal personal work, and essentially have no material possessions? If it doesn’t necessarily sound like the life for you, you can at least delve into it for the documentary as it is captivating and breathtaking to see these peaceful and loving humans strolling casually along the temple grounds with their peaceful and loving 450-pound tigers. It’s my hope that by watching The Tiger and the Monk it will renew or deepen our internal knowingness that we are all one and that the animals of our planet have so much wisdom, guidance and healing medicine to provide to us, if only we are willing to open our hearts and eyes to see.
You can check out this film and thousands more AND get 10 days free! All on GaiamTV!
I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time, a moment in media where a talk show really pushes the boundaries with expanding your mind. In a healthy way! Me waiting for this may seem silly to some, but I’ve always had a “thing” for talk shows. In fact, not only have I hosted some myself, but I have also worked on the production-end for some nationally syndicated talk shows that may have been successful ratings-wise but were so unsuccessful at inspiring or empowering me, that I had no choice but to leave the environment. Enter the antithesis, the answer to finally being able to break free from all the toxic, life-force draining, drama-filled TV. Welcome an adventure for your brain, a refreshing shower for your consciousness and soul… Mind Shift with Daniel Pinchbeck!
I just had the mystical experience of watching the show’s premier episode and let me just say this: Brain. Still. Buzz. Ing. Mind Shift is an hour of electricity and elevation, a show that you can connect with and relate to yet at the same time brings forth new knowledge to absorb and ponder. Mind Shift breaks open your mind, but in a pleasurable, adventure-filled way. Episode one delves into two topics some may not think to naturally pair together, Psychedelics In Religion, and here a couple of favorite moments I had while being mind shifted…
- I love, appreciate and adore learning from leaders in the spiritual growth world who are so willing to share their personal paths that led to awakening and enlightenment. Leaders willing to share their “one moment” or life occurrence that shifted them from darkness to light and reoriented their entire way of navigating their human experience and the two guests on Mind Shift: Psychedelics In Religion, Visionary Artist Alex Grey and Author Michael Muhammad Knight, were as forthcoming and open as they get.
- I also value gaining more in-depth knowledge and understanding of different religions. It’s one thing to read a book or article on a subject, but to hear first-hand accounts of how people connected with and developed a deep relationship with their chosen religion(s) and the steps they felt compelled to take to explore connecting with the divine is a whole ‘nother ballgame. Alex and Michael are such intriguing guests that they’re innately able to take topics that may, on the surface, seem too heavy or controversial to want to deal with, and create an energy and dialogue that’s empowering and fascinating.
I am grateful that GaiamTV is pushing the media boundaries, enabling the public to have a place to retreat to that has an endless video library that will support you on your own ascension and re-birth of consciousness; a place that facilitates monumental positive growth. Times have changed, universal energies have changed and we have changed and GaiamTV is a place where each time you visit is guaranteed to support you in these changes, enhance your life, and in turn, enhance the entire world and the birth of Mind Shift with Daniel Pinchbeck is yet another revolutionary step in that magical direction. Consider me officially Mind Shifted.
Prepare to get your brain buzz on, in a really healthy uplifting way:
The Premier of Mind Shift is set for Tuesday, September 24th!!Read and learn more about the show and get in on the action!
And here's your magical sneak peek...
PUERTO RICOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!I. Love. Puerto Rico! As many times as I've gone, I can never ever get enough and I highly recommend the trip to everyone.
This latest Puerto Rican adventure entailed many magical moments...
- Attending a wedding
- Checking out El Yunque Rainforest for the first time. Amaaazing.
- Eating one of the top 3 meals of my life at Pasion Restaurant located at Gran Melia Resort, Rio Grande. I had Crab Bisque Soup, Ceviche, Alcapurra con juye, Amaraillos, Filet Mignon, Mofongo with fish, Shrimp in cream garlic sauce, side dishes of mucho maju ketchup, AND fried cheescake. Oh. My. Lord. Unbelievably great.
(See empty plates photo below:)
- Paddle Boarding!! My ultimate fav! I would absolutely paddle board on a regular basis if I lived in PR!
- Eating tons more food and practicing my Spanish! :)
- Driving up into the real countryside (the landscape is gorgeous! and mountainous!!) where roosters and their chicks crossed the road, wild dogs tried to jump in the car and I nearly had a panic attack when I looked down the cliff and saw how high I was and
how close to the side of the one-lane "road" the car was!
- Spending time in the magical, laid-back, unique port town- Fajardo.
I can't say enough about how wonderful Puerto Rico is - the culture, the dances, the music, the food, the people, the towns (I also dearly love Old San Juan and a bunch of chill beach spots with random food stands), and the nature. It truly lives up to it's name... La Isla Del Encanta!
- And of course eating more, splashing around in the ocean, enjoying some drinks, watching games of dominoes and just chillaxing!!!
- OH! And how could I nearly forget - I missed my flight home! Now that was indeed an adventure as I got off course in the hillside and so caught up in taking pics that I ended up having to stay an extra day. Darn ;)
At the Om Factory, NYC :)
Whooopie! Wheeeee! Yessssssssss! - All words I remember using during my first Aeriel Yoga Experience :)
I was so blessed to be able to work with certified Aeriel Vinyasa Instructor, Sarah Sadie Newett, at New York City's Om Factory and my experience was nothing short of magical and extraordinary... just how I like it! We all know Yoga is proven to have multitudes of wellness benefits (breathing deeper/better/more, relaxation, stress-relief, being in the present moment, flexibility, weight loss, etc...) & the power of Aeriel Yoga extends even beyond all of that as you get to gain courage and confidence while working with the hammock, you get to learn more about your body and mind while doing yoga in a new/fresh way, you get to feel like a kid again, and YOU GET TO HANG UPSIDE DOWN! Did I mention you get to hang upside down???!!!
I absolutely loved it and highly recommend trying it. If Aeriel Yoga isn't for you, no biggie! At least you ventured out into the world, challenged your body and mind in a new way and whatever the ultimate outcome, you can leave the session feeling invigorated that you truly lived that day!
"Respond To Every Call That Excites Your Spirit."
Magic, Fun & Love, ALY
There’s nothing in this world more powerful than love; it can bring forth miracles, growth and transformation, and has the ability to heal. With 2013 just beginning and Valentine’s Day around the corner, finding true love or strengthening existing bonds seems to be in the forefront of people’s minds. What if I told you there was one simple step you could take, done within one minute, that could instantly give you renewed focus in finding love? Or if you've already got a significant other, this step will bring you healing or give you a much deeper understanding of your partner? In Gaiam Inspirations: Glynis McCants on Doing the Numbers: 2012 and Beyond, I found that that this is indeed possible. It’s all about tapping into a 2,500-year-old science called numerology.
Personal Puzzles Solved
In this show, you’ll learn from the best: McCants is a 21-year numerology pro. I was so enthused to gain personal insight, as well as insight on those closest to me, and the information revealed was truly mind-blowing. After determining my life path number (it’s super easy - the video tells you how) and hearing Glynis describe each life path number’s tendencies, my jaw just kept dropping and I found myself continually shocked by the epiphanies! Like magic, I instantly understood myself better, realizing why I think and act the way I do, along with understanding those I love better. It was as if a confusing puzzle I’d spent years trying to solve instantly came together.
Here are just a few of the fun and fascinating numerology secrets revealed:
• Why it’s a waste of time for certain life path numbers to drink alcohol
• Which life path numbers are born to rule and lead, and which should be running their own companies.
• Which life path numbers are afraid of commitment, attract drama, and are prone to escape through drugs, alcohol, work or travel.
• Which life path numbers are all about love, peace and harmony, and are naturally great mediators.
2013: Allow the Greatness
When it comes to numerology and utilizing this science of numbers, you can easily enhance your life in countless ways. I already feel much more empowered and self-aware with my life path number knowledge. I’m keeping myself in check when certain traits or habits emerge that I know I’m prone to yet want to improve upon. You can also use it to determine which days would be best to get married, sign contracts, travel, have surgery, etc. And what’s even better, this video comes at the perfect time: Glynis explains that 2013 is bringing forth energies of commitment, success, and calm! She explains this year is perfect for family time, weddings, taking better care of ourselves and perhaps most importantly, not self-sabotaging when things are going great. After a drama-filled 2012, we now need to re-regulate our brains to embrace the fluidity of 2013. When it’s all going magically well, we’ll remind ourselves that we’re deserving of all the greatness coming forth.
GaiamTV.com Ambassador Alyson Charles is a television and radio host and producer. She lends her passions, inspirations, and self-help knowledge to her readers on InAWEwithALY.com, supplying you with the freshest secrets and tips for creating your most magical life.
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One of humanity’s most mysterious and pondered questions is, “What happens when we die?” Astral City on GaiamTV.com poses the answer in an extremely unique and bold way, using the notion of spiritualism. With spiritualism, spirits of the dead have the ability and inclination to communicate with the living. Anyone may receive spirit messages, but formal communication sessions are held by mediums, who provide information about the afterlife. If you’re ready for a wild, mind-opening and thought-provoking ride that’s based on a true story, Astral City is your ticket. Here are the highlights:
Communication from Beyond
Astral City sets precedent before you even press the play button. It’s important to understand how this movie works: A spirit named Dr. Andre Luiz communicates his experiences in the afterlife through one of the world’s most renowned mediums, Chico Xavier. That’s right, this movie is formed strictly around the teachings of a dead man, transmitted from the great beyond. Xavier uses a form of spiritual communication known as psychography, whereby the spirit dictates to the medium the words to be written, essentially making the medium a reporter of the spirit realm. Through psychography, Dr. Luiz uses Xavier’s abilities to communicate his experiences, lessons and transformations in the afterlife.
Death Becomes Him
Dr. Luiz describes his entire experience in the spirit world in great detail, from waking in another dimension - a dark, tortured sort of purgatory - to being transported to much more healing, peaceful surroundings. As one of the most thought-provoking highlights, Dr. Luiz learns he didn't die in the manner he originally thought. He also receives lessons on how to visit others in the spirit world, and how to send messages to loved ones still enduring their earthly experience.
Dr. Luiz has many transformations and realizations through the course of the film. A few favorites:
• Our minds have greater potential than we know
• All forms of serving are a blessing
• Our feelings and thoughts rule the direction our lives take
• Fretting doesn’t solve problems
During our time on this planet, we are all here learning and hopefully growing. It’s a good practice to keep ourselves in gentle check, and to make the adjustments necessary to continue to live as vibrantly and authentically as possible.
While Astral City’s portrayal of the afterlife may not coincide with your own beliefs, it’s an amazing movie that inspires you to look at your own time on Earth with an insightful, reinvigorated framework. All you have to do? Simply allow it.GaiamTV.com Ambassador Alyson Charles is a television and radio host and producer. She lends her passions, inspirations, and self-help knowledge to her readers on www.InAWEwithALY.com, supplying you with the freshest secrets and tips for creating your most magical life.
When the phrase “the big day” is used, one typically thinks of a wedding, conjuring up images of a beautiful bride cascading down the aisle. But there’s a whole new kind of “big day” that’s not eliciting such joyous and positive emotions: December 21, 2012, the end of the Mayan calendar. The end of an era? Maybe. The apocalypse? Perhaps. The end date of a highly sophisticated system? Without a doubt.
As the 2012 theories began surfacing more frequently over the last few years, I found myself torn between feeling an odd sort of exhilaration and experiencing moments of more serious ponder, curious about what the end of the world might feel like.
I try my best to keep a pliable, curious mind, and I’m open to the possibility that the apocalypse could be upon us. I decided to arm myself with more information: Enter 2012: Science or Superstition on GaiamTV.com. Among the juicy tidbits of apocalyptic know-how, here are a couple of my favorites:
Align with the Times
In 2012: Science or Superstition, we get to hear from 12 different experts with wide-ranging viewpoints. Author Lawrence Joseph explains that on December 21, 2012, not only will the winter solstice occur, but it’s also the date of a “galactic alignment,” where the earth, sun and Milky Way will be in perfect linear formation. During this event, the sun will essentially stand between earth and the Milky Way, cutting earth off from a certain energetic sustenance to which we’re accustomed. Even more specific, however, is that this alignment will take place with the very center of our galaxy- this detail is highly arguable among experts with some believing the center can't possibly be accurately determined and others believing the alignment with the galaxy's center won't happen for another 2 million years! So, what does this mean for us earthlings? The answer is still up for debate and we will only know for sure when 12.21.12 arrives.
The Sun’s Supreme
Another expert, author Jim Marrs, explains that our sun has been more active than ever in 2012, potentially being the cause of the increased rate and intensity of natural disasters. In a strange twist of fate, I happen to be writing this article from New York City just one day after Hurricane Sandy delivered her wrath. Listening to Jim’s explanations of hurricanes while watching the hurricane and flood footage in 2012: Science or Superstition, and being in the midst of the most historic storm to ever hit New York was beyond surreal -- and further proof that something will indeed happen on December 21.
This fascinating and informative documentary reinforces my belief that everything in our entire universe is energy, and all life is interconnected. With the complex and extremely accurate Mayan calendar ending on December 21, 2012, a multitude of other ancient cultures also predicting great change, the sun’s abnormal activity, and the winter solstice all occurring on this date, I believe that the energy within humans and the energy of our earth will shift, causing a restructuring and a re-convergence of humanity and our planet.
I wholeheartedly believe we’re in the midst of the most spiritually awakened time of our lives. It's a time for rebirth of consciousness, of fresh energy and perspective, and of opportunity; but it's definitely not time for a full-blown apocalypse. Over the centuries we’ve been steadily advancing toward this revolutionizing event, and we’re now reaching its ultimate galactic climax. GaiamTV.com Ambassador Alyson Charles is a radio and television host and producer. She lends her passions, inspirations, and self-help knowledge to her readers on www.InAWEwithALY.com, supplying you with all the tips and secrets for creating your most magical life.
I felt the pull to go check out Cirque du Soleil's Zarkana at Radio City Music Hall for awhile, so I finally listened to my intuition and decided I was ready to dive into this "acrobatic extravaganza that will transform the grandest stage in the world into a world of unreality." And that is precisely what Zarkana did! If there is one theatrical show that most closely embodies what In AWE with ALY and the energy, message and vibe here is all about, it's got to be Zarkana...
It's absolutely one of those shows you just have to experience for yourself but the talent of the acrobats and the stunning and bizarre set designs and music will most definitely blow your mind!! There is a magician, colossal spider webs, jump-ropers on a high-wire, dances requiring amazing strength, giant eyeballs, out-of-this-world costumes, jugglers, and this tiny chic that get thrown into the air and repeatedly lands on a skinny little board, not more than a few inches wide, that oh yeah - is suspended between two men on their shoulders :) I can tell you that while there were moments in the stunts and acts that made me hold my breath or want to look away, at the same time it was so utterly mesmerizing and AWE-inspiring that it totally drew me in. Zarkana is a world that I plunged into and did not want to leave; it truly had me wishing it really existed so I could become a part of it. I guess I always have felt most comfortable around the weird and strange and for that reason alone, I am officially appointing Zarkana as the most fantastically bizarre In AWE with ALY FAV!!!
My mom recently came to NYC for a visit and we had a blast. NYC undoubtedly boasts some of the top museums in the world but I want to share with you a hidden gem - the Brooklyn Museum! It was at the top of the list for places we wanted to explore and although this was not my first time to the Brooklyn Museum, it never disappoints.
The museum has five stories, an enriching mixture of exhibits, the layout is great and easy to navigate, it feels fresh, vibrant and clean and it's simply a blast to check out!
Some of my fav spots are the mummy chambers and ancient Egyptian art on floor three, "The Dinner Party" feminist art exhibit by Judy Chicago on floor four (it is mind-blowing and has a super magical, mystical, powerful feel to it!), and the unique "visible storage" center on floor five that makes it seem like you're in a secret vault that only museum employees and curators should have access to.I've found that the simple act of taking a museum adventure has such a positive impact as it broadens horizons, opens minds, immerses us in unique world cultures that we should all be knowledgeable about, and just makes you realize what an AWEsome, creative world we live in. It may even inspire you to travel or learn more about a particular culture. I know I am always drawn to African and Egyptian galleries and here is just a taste of the amazingness we saw...
A simple stroll turned into a scene from "Alice In Wonderland!" ;)
It can be fun to set out each day with the goal of
having an adventure, no matter where you are, and trying to discover how much magic you can see! It's always all around us, everywhere, it's just a matter of us being present and noticing it ♥
One of the main keys to seeing life as an exciting, wondrous, AWEstruck adventure is using your senses and it begins with simply taking a look around! There are these things called birds flying around in the sky! And speaking of the sky - sometimes it's blue, sometimes it's pink, sometimes it's orange and red, etc... etc... and if that isn't an amazing enough natural feature to create a feeling of adventure and enhance your day then I don't know what can.
Just tune in to your surroundings.
Stepping outside is a quick way to recenter yourself and tap into your senses but even if you're inside at the office, an easy way to add wonder and adventure to a seemingly mundane day is by taking notice of routine aspects of your day that you may be taking for granted and you can begin by being grateful for your senses. At least you're able to hear that phone ring or hear that "annoying beep" on the fax machine. At least you're able to feel and touch and pick up and use your brain to think about that "dreadful" report that's been driving you nuts for weeks. At least you're able to smell that "awful, burnt-tasting" office coffee. At least you have coffee and at least you can smell it. My point is, wonderment can be found everywhere, even in everyday things.
One habit I've been working on improving is being more mindful as I'm rushing around. I've found that I get caught up in walking super fast from point A to point B and I get stuck in my head while doing it, so I try to catch myself and the very instant I do, the world immediately comes more alive! I feel the warm breeze on my skin (one of my most favorite things EVER), I hear fascinating conversations, the taste of my tea that I has been mindlessly slurping on now becomes much more flavorful, all of a sudden I smell the roasting peanuts from the street cart and all the colors seem brighter. The list can go on and on. The possibilities of ways your day can come more alive and feel like a true, fascinating adventure rather than a boring drag, are absolutely endless. We should never feel bored. Ever.
I want to share a video with you that's definitely an In AWE with ALY FAV! It is super invigorating, inspiring & fun as this couple takes the term "everyday adventures" to another level...