Monthly Archives: October 2009

The Pain Body by Valerie Saurer, Guest Blogger

Valerie Sauer

Valerie Saurer

From guest blogger, Valerie Saurer.  I love it when someone says it better than I!

Does this sound familiar?  You’re going along being all spiritual, mood is light, and you’re able to handle whatever comes along without breaking your stride.  You’re proud of the progress you’ve made, and you feel like your ride on that emotional roller coaster you used to be trapped on is finally behind you.  Then, someone says something that totally sets you off:  your blood starts boiling and you fly into a rage.  Or, if you swing the other way and your anger tends to get directed inward, you tumble down into a deep depression.  What just happened? Continue reading

New Federal Trade Commission Guidelines For Endorsements By Bloggers

This week is the first I learned about Federal Trade Commission attacks bloggers – fines up to 11K. Cassandra Yorgey writes:   Today the Federal Trade Commission posted some new Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials by bloggers and other internet mediums. For those that don’t want to read the full 81 page document, let me sum it up for you. If you say anything nice about a product or service anywhere on the internet, you better disclose exactly how you are connected to that company/individual… or you can face fines up to $11,000. Even if you are an unpaid-just-for-fun-in-my-own-little-corner-of-the-internet dabbler of all things digital who only talks to people you know in real life.
### end of Cassandra Yorgey excerpt

Andrea: This doesn’t apply to my blogging since no one has ever compensated me for endorsement. However, this is good information to keep in mind.  Especially since lots of people I know blog.

I especially like John Chow’s Disclosure Policy below:

To comply with the recent FTC ruling (not that I have to since this blog is not based in the USA) over bloggers getting paid to write stuff, I offer the following disclosure policy. If you’re reading my blog, you should assume the following:

* I make money from every post I put on this blog. If I’m not making money from every blog post, then it was an oversight on my part and it will be corrected soon.
* Every link on this blog is a paid link. If it is not a paid link, then it was an oversight on my part and it will become a paid link soon.
* Every product I write about on this blog, I get for free. If I didn’t get it for free, then there was a miss-communication with the company that sent it and I will be billing them for the cost so the product becomes free.
* I make money from every tweet I send out on Twitter. If I didn’t make money on the tweet, then it was an oversight on my part and it will be corrected soon.
* If you email me, all of the information in your email is mine to do with as I please, such as exploit for financial profit, use as blackmail, or quote on my blog.
* The T-shirts you see me wear at trade shows. I get paid to wear them. If I didn’t get paid to wear them, then it means I ran out of paid shirts and had to wear a free one. In which case, I will go to the company that gave me the free shirt and ask them to sponsor it.
* If something on the Net is making a lot of money, you can bet I will be in on it. If I’m not in on it, then it was an oversight on my part and it will be corrected soon.
* Just because I get paid to blog, tweet, wear T-shirts, etc. does NOT mean I will give you or your company a positive review, blog post or endorsement. As a matter of fact, chances are pretty high that I might slam you.

Hopefully, the above statement clears up any misunderstanding you may have about my blog posts or Twitter tweets. If you have any questions, you can contact me at my contact page. Just remember what I said about emails.

This disclosure policy was sponsored by Market Leverage and Clickbooth. Yes, I make money on my disclosure statement as well!

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New Updated Links for info about the James Ray Sedona Sweat Lodge Deaths Matter

This page has evolved into the page for updated links on this matter – see the links list below for a chronological timeline. I am keeping track of this story since I get so many emails and Facebook messages asking about it.  I’m not personally out to get anyone, but I believe people who do this type of work need to be responsible and accountable.  This matter going public has drawn out past participants who were afraid to speak up on their own.  As someone who has done dozens of vision quests and sweat lodges since the 70’s, a main interest in them for me is the psychological changes they bring about in everyone involved.  A bonding together for a common purpose.  An awakening to a deeper understanding of the world around you.  That is why I am following this story.  It is interesting watching it unfold, and interesting to see reactions to it.  Oh, we are in interesting times. Beverly Bunn, Sweat Lodge Survivor, Speaks Out, Reveals Details Of Tragic Incident excerpt: When participants exhibited weakness, Ray urged them to push past it and chided those who wanted to leave. “I can’t get her to move. I can’t get her to wake up,” Bunn recalls hearing from two sides of the 415-square-foot sweat lodge. Ray’s response: “Leave her alone, she’ll be dealt with in the next round.”

$9,695 New Age sweat lodge session kills 2, injures 19 This is a very long extensive post but has some interestesting tidbits about the James Arthur Ray sweat lodge incident, James Ray’s past time line, The Secret, Ray’s Practical Mysticism pitch, what secret spiritual warrior tradition did James Ray study in Peru and the Amazon?  The page also contains a link to an interview with Shawna Bowen who was on the scene. Shawna Bowen website here.

10-21-09, an Inside Account
10-22-09: James Ray urged sweat lodge participants to stop prescription medications
10-22-09: Mind altering breathing techniques used by James Ray at Sedona retreat
10-23-09 update interview with survivors Sidney Spencer and others
10-23-09 James Ray Spiritual Warrior Participant Guide, Welcome letter
10-24-09 Interview with Dr. Stanislav Grof: James Ray not certified
10-26-09 Did James Ray use coercive persuasion
10-28-09 Sweat Lodge Victim’s Family: Guru James Arthur Ray Lied to Us
10-27-09  Story unfolds of James Ray, who hosted fatal sweat lodge
10-30-09 James Ray Spiritual Warrior worksheet: Shocking questions
10-31-09 First lawsuits filed in Arizona sweat lodge tragedy
10-31-09 James Ray has no degree/licensure to do psychological trauma work
10-31-09 James Ray jewelry thief, refusing to return items handed over
11-4-09  James Ray lists his Beverly Hills home for sale
11-9-09 Lawsuit filed By survivor Sidney Spencer
11-13-09  Lakota Nation files lawsuit against parties in sweat lodge incident
11-16-09 Who Built the James Ray Sweat Lodge? Photo of it partially completed
11-24-09 Interview with Lorena Bathey; James Ray Escalating Patterns of Abuse
11-27-09 What next for James Ray cult survivors?
12-8-09 ABC Video, former James Ray employee tells of his actions after ceremony
12-9-09 Former Employee: Ray Did Not Help People Dying in Sweat Lodge
12-10-09 The Nightline Interview with James Ray Staff
12-11-09  Breaking news: Fifth death associated with James Ray
12-15-09 James Ray Facing Criminal Charges, Authorities Say
12-15-09 Complete transcript of the “Anderson Cooper 360″ segment
12-16-09 James Ray drugged participants and forced snake handling
12-29-09 Ray Ignored Broken Bones, More, Leading Up To 3 Deaths, Say Court Docs
12-30-09 New police info released – police reports revealed
12-31-09 James Ray drugs and disease
12-31-09 Particpant Interviews from
1-14-10  Detailed look at newly released police reports: part 1
1-24-10 Q & A with James Arthur Ray by Michael Joseph Gross
2-3-10 Motivational speaker CHARGED WITH MANSLAUGHTER in sweat lodge deaths
2-4-10 More Damning Eyewitness Information About Fatal James Ray Sweat Lodge
2-9-10 Employees Rat Out Self-Help Guru, Get Immunity (a lot of links at this website)
2-10-10 Religious Practices on Trial in Arizona: The Problem With “Experts”
2-11-10 Interview with James Ray Intl Director of Operations
2-16-10 Interview with Josh Fredrickson: part 1
3-11-10 Interview with Angel Valley Nurse
3-24-10 Police interview with Owner of Angel Valley


Older posts:

Link to video segment of James Ray on Larry King Live
James Ray sweat lodge survivors continue to speak out
Related Post: How did James Arthur Ray attract this?
2 die at James Arthur Ray’s Sedona Spiritual Warrior Retreat
Questions About Sweat Lodge. Creating New Neurological Pathways
Update from NPR on this matter
6/22/11:  James Ray Found guilty of negligent homicide

The End of Death As We Know It

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A Soup or Two Every Day. I Discover I Never Didn’t Like Curry

10 Spices That Heal: Cancer, Diabetes, and More. Wow, cumin, ginger, basil, garlic, rosemary, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, tumeric, thyme, sounds like the spice mix I use in my soups..  I wrote in Sunday’s post that I love making soups and sometimes make more than one a day.  I used to cook big giant pots of soup, since that was how I recall my grandmother doing it.  Then I’d eat the soup at every meal for a week or more.  It only just in the last few years occurred to me to make small mini-soups instead.  That way I get the pleasure of choosing and chopping and cooking more often, and make just small one-pint or one-quart soups. I enjoy cooking now that my diet consists of mostly fresh vegetables.  I enjoy finding new flavor combinations, especially in soups.  Like Sunday, if I think about it (or glance at my daily food journal), I really ate all day long.  Of course, I was eating salads and watery soups, but it was basically a day of fun food preparation and feasting.  They just weren’t heavy or fatty foods.  Also, I figure it’s healthier to spend half of my kitchen time in food prep rather than in eating, since I’ll spend the same amount of time doing it, no matter what. Continue reading

Breaking news: Inside accounts of James Ray sweat lodge tragedy and retreat

NOTE:  See here for Link to updated info on this matter

Breaking news, an Inside Account This is from Philadelphia Speculative Fiction Examiner Cassandra Yorgey. Remember this is just one person’s account, based on whoever she spoke with.  And each person she spoke with gave just one person’s truth, just how one person saw the situation. I initially wrote that I was not sure this writer’s account is true, and said she had so much in her article that was not true and that she clearly had it in for Ray. As I read more and more of her writing this morning, my mind has changed somewhat. I don’t agree with everything she writes but she has valid points and I believe she’s somewhat objective.  I no longer think she has it in for Ray.

Cassandra Yorgey describes herself as a speculative fiction enthusiast. I don’t say that to diminish her authority for writing what she writes, I simply never heard the term before.  I commented on one of her articles:  I just discovered your pages about James Ray n am enjoying your writing. I may not agree with everything you say but you make me think n see things from another angle. In the past 17 years I’ve published Florida’s new age magazine, Horizons, n I’ve seen lots of people get wrapped up in this guru n that; even smart people, even knowledgeable, informed people. Folks are so ready for change n deliverance from their boring n routine lives that they gladly place their trust in whoever has the most compelling spiel. They want to die to their old selves n be re-born again. It’s not that they’re willing to risk their lives for it, it’s that they haven’t seriously contemplated the consequences of their choices. They frantically go from one guru to another, one workshop to the next, waiting for someone to magically make it all better. They don’t take much time for critical thought or inner work. Then they attract situations they resonate in “vibrational” harmony with and don’t know why.

and she emailed me:

Thanks for helping continue the discussion of the sweat lodge tragedy. One factual correction I need to alert you to is that my article is not just one person’s view. I spoke with multiple sources to write my article. It is true that my opinion is all over it though, I did try to make clear where my thoughts differ from fact.

Many have pointed out that I am a speculative fiction enthusiast, and that is absolutely true. I realize it’s odd that I am covering the James Ray story but it is not as unrelated as it first appears. In addition to my examiner column I am also writing a young adult fantasy set in a wilderness program. During the resesarch for my book I came across a lot of information that ties into this case. My latest interview is with an expert who ran a program that has many overlaps to James Ray’s spiritual warrior retreat and takes a look at the both the mental and physical safeguards that are necessary, as well as an explanation of one aspect of James Rays technique. Thanks again for contributing to the discussion, Cassandra Yorgey

Eliminate Negative Beliefs Without Taking An Expensive Workshop ~ Byron Katie’s Four Questions

Who would you be without your story?  Who would you be without your current limiting beliefs?  What is a belief anyway?  When we believe something, we think it is true.  That makes it a belief.  All beliefs distort our perception of reality, since they are the filter through which we see the world. We are emotionally attached to our beliefs.  Being emotionally attached to something prevents us from seeing it objectively.  When we examine a belief and diffuse the emotional power of it, we eliminate the distortion and that in itself automatically dispels the illusory belief.

There are a lot of practitioners in the personal development field who will charge you hundreds and thousands of dollars to attend a workshop or private sessions designed to help you reframe your past experiences with the advertised goal to eliminate your negative beliefs.  I’m sure many of them are effective.  But you can do the work with a little self inquiry on your own, as well. Continue reading

Getting Tangled and Trapped in My Own Thoughts

Yesterday was a great day of staying home and doing lots of homey type things right here.  I’d finished the magazine early on and then spent the day wandering around the yard with the kitties, transplanting loquat seedlings, and lounging around on the back porch.  I made a couple of soups throughout the day, my Asian spiced shrimp asparagus soup, and later a tomato, onion, corn and green bean chowder.  I like making mini-soups, enough for one serving at a time.  Soup is so fun to make, and I like to do it often.  I make just a pint or quart at a time and I eat it out of big oriental bowls, with bean sprouts and basil, using chopsticks.  By the end of the day, I was very relaxed, with very few thoughts going on in my head.  I love when that happens. Especially when I wake up and my thoughts are only about how comfy the bed is and how nice and warm it is under the covers, rather than waking up with my To Do List running a million miles an hour in my head. Continue reading

Another magazine to the printer

I finished final layout on the November Horizons Magazine last night and then went to bed at a reasonable hour, 9:00pm.  Of course, that meant I’d be up at midnight, 3 hours later and I was.  I gotta bless menopause for making my sleep consistent: three hours from start to finish, no matter what.  I love being up in the middle of the night.  It’s quiet, and I love the quiet.  In fact, because of the quiet factor I think it may be hard for me to ever share space with a mate. My cousin has been a roommate for most of this year and, for the most part, he keeps to himself, writing code or whatever it is he does.  He watches movies, headphones on at his laptop, so I don’t often have to deal with hearing his tv or radio. It’s an ideal situation, if I must share space: everyone being self contained and not space-invading each other. Continue reading

We all need a little Validation

A very cool video – Validation – is worth the 16 minute watch.  Validation is an award winning, comedic fable about the importance of acknowledgment and validation. It shows the magic of looking for the best in people. Validation has played at 34 film festivals worldwide and won 17 awards. I want to be like that guy. He knows that just a few words of validation takes just a moment and can make someone’s day.  Always offer hope, for some it’s all they get.  I thought today how true that is.  People are who you make them think you think they are.

I’m one of those who talks to other people standing in lines.  I always have a comment to anyone my elder.  Just today in the market I was next to a grandmotherly 80-something and she apologized for being so slow getting her green beans.  I joked that I knew what she was up to, taking all the good ones.  Her face crinkled into a big smile and I asked how she was going to cook them.  I had the best time listening to her tell me some of her favorite recipes.  She remarked several times about it being hard to cook for one and I told her I liked it because that meant less cleanup.  And that left more time to play in the garden and think happy thoughts and go to the market and pick out all the best green beans. We had the best visit and would say “you again!” when we’d pass in the next aisle.

My morning was made better by listening to her.  I saw her as someone who likely had something to teach me and I was right.  It seemed as though she may not get often asked for advice.

She will see herself a little more through my eyes at least for a few days.  I hope it makes her smile.  It did me.

We all need a little validation.

PS.  Two hours after making this post, and a week after writing it, I open Alan Cohen’s article for the November Horizons, and it talks about the film!


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