July 16, 2008
“Go Organic” is the latest buzz in the food industry. And why not, organically grown fruits and vegetables are tastier, nutritious and definitely less contaminated with harmful chemicals. But they tend to tip the budget scales on the higher side.
When buying fruits and vegetables keep in mind that thicker the skin of the vegetable, the lesser percentage of pesticides in them. Banana, kiwi, papaya, pineapple, mango all have a thick covering. In vegetables, asparagus, broccoli, avocado is comparatively safer.
In keeping with the trend of going organic, many families are getting into organic farming. It is not always possible to own open land and grow your own food. But one can always have a small garden and grow few organic vegetables.
It is exciting and an accomplishment when you serve food, which you have grown personally. Here are some very basic tips on how you can go about developing your garden into an organic garden.
How To Develop An Organic Garden:
1) Find out how much space you have before you start dreaming of something too lavish and elaborate.
2) Make sure you have time on hand to attend to your garden regularly.
3) Decide if you want a vegetable garden or an herb garden.
4) The area where you plan to have your garden should receive ample sunlight, minimum six hours. This is extremely crucial to keep the garden healthy and disease free.
5) There should be a good drainage system otherwise your garden bed will turn into a marsh land.
6) When creating the bed, make sure you clear the area thoroughly and dig sufficiently deep.
7) Adding compost works wonders to a freshly dug up site. You can make your own compost or buy them from garden and planters shop.
8) When buying your organic plant make sure they are from Organic Plant centers or you will land up buying plants that have already been created with chemicals. You can also buy seeds and grow them. But make sure you buy seeds of those plants that are in season.
9) While planting your new plants, make sure the hole is deep, then put the plant, fill it completely with soil, apply gentle pressure around the soil, so you know it is firm and water it well.
10) After the planting is complete, make sure that the entire garden is covered with three inch layer of organic mulch, such as shredded bark, hay, chopped leaves, or grass clippings. This will keep weeds down while retaining soil moisture.
It may sound like a lot of hard work but once it is ready, you will feel proud of your achievement and enjoy chemical free meals for a change.
©Nayna, 2007-2008. All Rights Reserved.
July 12, 2008
Séance, Ouija board, psychics and UFO abductions are some of the terms most of us know. Books, movies, paranormal TV shows keep us at the edge of our seat, begging for more. The need to understand and be a part of the paranormal world is a deep rooted desire in most of us.
We all want to know if “It” is out there and why we cannot see, feel or touch it. Numerous unanswered questions and experiences dwell in us and the search continues. Many secrets are still unexplored and the investigation continues.
The following 25 tips on how to discover your paranormal abilities is taken from the Book Of ThoTH.
Absent Healing: With the same affects as the ‘laying on of hands’, but instead of healing directly, the person is able to heal their target from an entirely different location.
Alpha Rhythm: In a state of deep relaxation the electrical activity of the brain slows to about 10 cycles per second. Such as with meditation, it can be helpful to centre oneself before attempting any psychical test.
Altered State of Consciousness: Generic term for any state beyond the norm of wakefulness and sleep. This includes going into trance, cases of religious ecstasy, drug induced states, as well as a variety of dream states. It’s generally any state of consciousness which is not easily defined as “awake” or “asleep”.
Anomalous Experience: This is any event which cannot readily be explained through logic or science. Basically, it’s a “Twilight Zone” moment of realization.
Apparition: While there are different definitions, such as ghost, spirit, entity, these will all generally fall under the category of an apparition. This is an intangible presence which might appear in order to give warning, or foretell impending disaster. These can also be ancestor spirits which are returning to aid and guide us, or send us a message. Along with this, in lesser form, are occurrences of voice phenomenon where an “apparition” appears, but can only be heard and not seen, often associated with EVP’s (electronic voice phenomenon). There is also the area of “ghosts” or “phantom images” appearing in old photographs, which could be a genuine spectral anomaly, or a mere trick of the light.
Astral Projection: The ability to transcend one’s physical body to voyage through the astral plane. Also known as OBE (out of body experience), this state, reached intentionally through mediation, or otherwise accidentally, allows a person to freely travel to various locations while their body lies in a sleep state. There are many subtle nuances, but I would also classify ‘Remote Viewing’ in this category, as well as ‘Bilocation’ (appearing in two places at the same time), ‘Retrocognition’ (knowledge of past events where a person wasn’t present), and ‘Cryptomnesia’ (info a person obtains about past or future details without consciously being aware of its source).
Channelling: The belief that someone, usually a medium, can receive messages from spirits and non-physical entities. Some researchers believe that instead of picking up information from the deceased, these people might actually have telepathic abilities and are actually picking up thoughts from those around them. Channelling remains one of the most controversial areas of psychic research, and one of the most abused.
Collective Apparition: This is an apparition that is seen simultaneously by more than one person at the same place and time. While these occurrences are rare, or at least hard to prove, they are among the most compelling cases in all parapsychology. Usually this involves a religious sighting, such as the Virgin Mary appearing at Fatima. While there are still logical explanations, it’s not so easy to write off all these events as ‘mass delusion’.
Déjà vu: The odd and indescribable feeling a person has when an event is currently unfolding, yet feels like it’s happened more than once before. It’s one of the most mysterious, yet most widely reported occurrences of parapsychology.
Divination: This comes in a variety of forms, but is generally a method by which psychics or spiritual mediums obtain and read information in order to gain knowledge. There are literally dozens of methods to ‘divining information’, including alchemy, astrology, tarot, as well as reading tea leaves or pig intestines. People should study all the avenues and see which methods might be right for them before jumping head first into any of this.
Empath: Similar to Telepathy, an empath can feel the emotions of others. Everyone is an empath on one level or another, but many close themselves off to this ability, lest they be overcome with negative emotions and ‘psychic vampirism’.
False Awakening: A dream in which a person believes that he or she has woke up, but is still dreaming. While only loosely fitting into the scheme of “psychic event”, it is an interesting occurrence nonetheless, and should be considered along side other sleep/dream phenomena.
General Extrasensory Perception: This is the term used when the particular ability of a person (telepathy, precognition, etc.) isn’t easily definable. Perhaps this subject has more than one psychic talent, which can sometimes confuse the testing procedures.
Haunted Object: Into this I will simply include “haunting”. This is an object, or a building, which has over time acquired some form of residual consciousness, usually though not always of the malignant variety. This accumulation of collected energies, and their potential interaction with the human psyche, could one day be proven in some form by rigorous scientific analysis.
Hyperaesthesia: A semi-common condition where one or more of a person’s senses become unnaturally acute. Sometimes this can occur because of trauma to the brain, or a near death experience. There are also cases of ‘Xenoglossy’, where a person suddenly has the ability to write or speak in a language which they have never learned.
Hypnologic Imagery: This is a visual event that occurs just before a person falls asleep, in which bright geometrical patterns and images appear before the cloudy view of the subject. These can also take the form of complex puzzles and shapes, which seemingly dance before the eyes of a semi-conscious person. It’s possible that this related to a meditation process in which the subject is able to witness representations of inner biological structures, or even encoded messages within their DNA strand.
Intuition: This is the most generally accepted talent, though not regulated to the study of parapsychology but to actual science. Intuition is believed to take place in the brain and other sensory organs, based upon raw data input and the awareness of cause and effect situations. In Parapsychology this would be defined as Clairvoyance or Precognition, though it shows one of the rare branches where hard science and psychic research merge into a mainstream belief.
Levitation: The ability to raise oneself, or other objects, into the air without physical contact. It could also be argued that this is merely a form of telekinesis, the psychic ability to move solid object with the mind.
Lucid Dreaming: A dream in which the dreamer is aware that they are dreaming and can actively change events within their sleep state. It can often be related to OBE and sleep paralysis.
Near Death Experience: Over the decades, thousands of people have reported near death experiences, usually involving some form of astral projection in which they are hovering over their bodies at the scene of an accident, or on the operating table. In this state they can watch events as they unfold, and even report back on it later once they’ve re-entered the world of the living. More often than not when these cases are reported, it involves a ‘great white light’ and sometimes even visitation by relatives and family members (Psychopomps) who are already deceased and waiting to open the gates of ‘heaven’.
Past Life Regression: A technique, usually done through hypnosis, in which people claim to have visions and memories of previous lives. Sometimes this occurs spontaneously, and one day this field might be better explained through the biological study of DNA. Reincarnation and Karmic balance is a major tenet of many world religions, though under hypnosis it might be easy to implant false memories.
Phenomenology: This is the regulated scientific study of a person’s personal psychic experiences, though this can also be done in a lower scale “do it yourself” fashion.
Sheep-Goat Effect: The proposition that believers of psychic ability (sheep) will score better on paranormal aptitude tests than will non-believers (goats). This area needs more study before it will become a conclusive fact of parapsychology.
Synchronicity: Yet another of the misunderstood yet widely occurring set of phenomena, Synchronicity was coined by psychologist Carl Jung as a series of events which occur randomly yet have a significant, and even spiritual, connection to each other. These happenings can often go undetected unless one is open to experiencing them. It can be a frightful incident for some, while a religiously delusional incident to others. This is most often referred to as being responsible for events of “high strangeness.”
©Nayna, 2007-2008. All Rights Reserved.
July 8, 2008
Cleansing your soul, learning yoga Asanas, inhaling mountain, fresh air are just some of the essentials needed for a perfect holiday. Rishikesh is a well-known pilgrimage centre but it is also a haunt for adventure seekers. The melting snow from the Himalayas passes through this city providing the optimum current required for rafting.
According to Hinduism, Goddess Ganga descends to cleanse our souls flowing from the Jata (Hair Locks) of Lord Shiva, who resides in the Himalayas. A dip in this sacred water washes all the sins and provides liberation to the departed souls.
The water flows down with such great speed that it looks white. The chilled water also reminds you of global warming. Inspite of the river and its tributaries getting polluted in various cities like Haridwar and Varanasi, you will still find the water here very clear and clean.
Rishikesh is the best place for adventure sports in India. Rafting is also available in Manali, Himachal Pradesh but that doesn’t have the current or the rapids like here. This sport is seasonal and usually opens after the monsoon, somewhere in the month of October and ends around March. These areas receive a lot of rainfall so it is best to inquire when the rafting season begins.
I was fortunate when I visited in October as the water levels were recorded the highest compared to the previous years. During this season, you do not have to book in advance as several operators offer this service. There are several packages depending on how brave you are. You can try 10 km, 15 km and so on. I am a daredevil so I took up the entire stretch of 32 km. There are kayaking options available as well.
I chose the Garhwal Himalayan Explorations to handle my rafting expedition. They were thoroughly professional and well-equipped to handle any emergencies. I was impatient for the expedition to begin but that didn’t change until the induction on safety was completed. The trainer covered every aspect of how to handle oneself, remain calm and maintain discipline so that safety of others was not compromised. Further instructions included steps on how to rescue one another and techniques to hold on if anyone fell into the water. This took around forty-five minutes.
The trainer who was handling my raft was a no-nonsense guy and didn’t like any jokes and laughter until he was sure everyone understood the possible dangers of rafting and not think of this activity as all fun and games outing.
There were twelve people in a raft along with the trainer. Each of us were given lifejacket and helmet. He checked every individual’s jacket and allotted where each one should sit. After understanding the commands, we finally set off. The full day rafting event started from Marine Drive to Munni Ki Reti, while other smaller routes are from Shivpuri to Munni Ki Reti and Brahmapuri to Munni Ki Reti.
Once I was in the raft, paddling and feeling the water gurgling around was magical. I felt in touch with my inner self, the surroundings and the higher beings.
The calm water suddenly got bumpy and the trainer yelled out commands how to steer the raft. People seated on the left had their set of instructions and the right ones theirs. As this was our first rapid, all of us were nervous and uncoordinated. This caused the raft to spin.
“Together,” yelled the trainer.
The cold burst of water, the attacking current was enough to panic even the trained swimmers. I had never imagined the calm water would have such a raging side. We managed finally and yelled out in ecstasy after we passed it. Each rapid had a name like roller coaster, butterfly and so on. The names befitted them appropriately as they behaved just like that.
My adrenalin rush was at its peak. It made my determination stronger as I took on every rapid with all my strength. Years of weight-training and building stamina were challenged to the maximum here. It was not all about physical ability but also the determination of the mind to see danger a few seconds ahead and yet have the steadfastness not to deter and surpass it.
If one member gave up, there were chances that the raft would capsize. But that was also a challenge on how to manage yourself and your fellow travelers safely.
White water rafting in Rishikesh is once in a lifetime experience and tourists from all over the world come to be a part of it. So buckle up, enjoy the nature and be a part of its wildness.
©Nayna, 2007-2008. All Rights Reserved.
Related Post: The Safe Way To Enjoy Adventure Sports