Paradise ROCKS!

Jennifer-Paradise Rocks

By Jennifer C. Swiger

Jennifer-Paradise Rocks“Welcome to Paradise ROCKS! Because it does and so do you!” That’s how I greet my customers. It usually gets a chuckle. My name is Jennifer Swiger, owner of Paradise ROCKS!, the newest and coolest rock shop in Butte County where I sell rocks, crystals, fossils, minerals, art, jewelry, and gifts.

I fell in love with crystals for their natural beauty; it’s only in the last few years that I became interested in learning about their metaphysical and healing properties. I read somewhere that as a society we have polluted our waters, air, and soil, rendering the food we consume toxic. The only things that remain mostly undamaged are the minerals within the earth. I see more and more people turning to stones, rocks, and crystals for metaphysical healing. I’ve been using crystals and rocks in my personal development and growth. Crystals have many uses, including in healing, protection, meditation, Reiki, shamanic work, and energy movement, as well as decorative appeal in the home and in jewelry. And let’s not forget the geological fascination for both young and old!

I had the pleasure of collaborating with my family to create Paradise ROCKS! Debbie had the idea to open a rock shop, John named the shop, and I designed the logo. The logo is meant to capture vintage Paradise along with the influx of new people moving to the area. As a visitors center on weekends for the Paradise Ridge Chamber of Commerce, I have noticed that travelers are coming to visit Paradise from the Bay Area and Southern California. I am honored to say that even the guests from much larger and more sophisticated areas offer overwhelming responses that the shop:


  1. Has very good energy;Paradise Rocks
  2. The rocks and crystals are displayed beautifully; and
  3. It smells great in the shop! (The good scents could be the SoapRocks, incense or white sage.)


Every day in my shop is a blessing. I meet the neatest people who are excited to see a rock shop in Paradise. We are very popular with little kids. I had one little boy bring in his little toolbox to show me his rock collection. It was darling! We also get a lot of adults who are excited to see a rock shop in Paradise. It brings up a lot of nostalgia and good feelings for people. I hear comments such as “I used to collect rocks with my grandfather” or “My kids and I used to look for heart-shaped rocks.” More and more each day, I get customers who are curious about the metaphysical and healing properties of the rocks. When people in the shop are drawn to a particular rock, I share the stone’s affinities with them. More often than not, it is exactly what they need at the time. If a customer is not sure where to start, I recommend rose quartz because it is a stone of unconditional love.

One of my greatest pleasures has been introducing the community to some unique and talented artists using a wide range of mediums. One of our local artisans beads animal skulls in the style of the Huichol people in Mexico. There are approximately 121 beads per square inch; one piece could have thousands of beads. She also makes decorative gourds using various artistic techniques such as watercolors, gold leaf, or pyrography (wood burning). We have several artists from the Yosemite area. Marti Houchard carves the most beautiful angels from manzanita. Native Americans believe manzanita has healing properties. Guido Stauffer uses jet-black India ink, colored ink, pencil, and occasionally watercolor to create his drawings. Courtney Konapacki has a unique, organic, and whimsical style. She uses digital photography to create her work. Jamie Owlhawk makes medicine tools for use in shamanic, Reiki, or energy movement. Jamie’s medicine tools are unique and handcrafted to enhance one’s spiritual journey. All of our products are handpicked with exceptional quality, social responsibility, and positive energy in mind.

We are a fun, family-run business with a commitment to strengthening our Paradise community and promoting art and culture in the area. Paradise ROCKS! loves the idea of bringing family and community together. One of my favorite ways to promote Paradise ROCKS! is painting rocks that say Paradise ROCKS! Then I hide them on the Ridge for people to find. I painted Darth Vader and a stormtrooper for Star Wars Day, May 4. I posted a picture of the rocks in their hiding place with a clue to find on the Paradise ROCKS! Facebook page. The mother of the little boy who found them posted on our Facebook page that her son carried around those rocks for two days! He was so happy, it made me happy! The best part about painting rocks is that anyone can do it! It also fosters creativity, builds self-esteem, relieves stress, and develops our appreciation of art. Paradise ROCKS! is encouraging members of the community to tap into their artistic and whimsical spirit by painting rocks that they will hide in their favorite spots on the Ridge for others to find. For more information about the rock hunt and how you can participate, please visit our Facebook page @paradiserocks530.

Paradise Rocks

Our vision is to create a rock shop that everyone can enjoy. The shop is continuing to evolve as we add new specimens, treasures, gifts, and activities each month. You will find our shop at 5660 Skyway Rd., Ste. C, in Paradise, CA. Paradise ROCKS! opened its doors on February 23 and has been ROCKIN’ it ever since! Please stop by to check us out and say hello!

June 16, 2017 |

Bridging the Past With Today

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Golden Road Radio Hour

Golden Road Television and Radio Show

“Bridging the Past With Today For a Better Tomorrow”

By Michael DiMartino

Michael DiMartino


The Golden Road Television and Radio Show:

“Bridging the Past With Today for a Better Tomorrow”




  • Where can you listen to in-depth interviews with individuals and organizations from our region?
  • Where can you watch and enjoy live music performing arts and visual arts from the comfort of your own home?
  • How can you become aware of the current issues that affect you and what’s happening in our region and around the world to help make the world a better place?
  • Where can you find community members who are committed to enhancing your quality of life and empowering you with health tips that you can use in the privacy and convenience of your own kitchen?
  • Where can you find a legitimate source to keep you informed about environmental change that affects you and gives the indigenous community a voice?
  • What show is specifically dedicated to showcasing incredible talent and resources of the Sierra?

Golden Road Radio Hour

The Golden Road television shows broadcast from 6 to 8pm every Sunday in Nevada County, Butte County, Placer County, and the Truckee Tahoe area and at 2pm Sunday in Sacramento County. The audio from the shows, along with world music, is also played from 4 to 7am every other Saturday on KVMR 89.5 FM radio in Nevada City and on KUBU 96.5 radio in Sacramento.

The Golden Road radio and TV show explores the intersection of arts and culture, health and the environment, peace and justice, and science and technology.

Every week we have live in-studio guests, an in-house DJ, live musical performers, and video clips from dozens of local events varying from the snowcapped Sierras in Lake Tahoe down to Nevada City, Auburn, and Sacramento and all the way out to Chico.

Even though the show is a magazine format with many moving parts and extremely entertaining, we also take on very serious subject matter that you will not hear anywhere from corporate-sponsored media.

Michael DiMartino, the show’s founder, says we are committed to educating and inspiring people to help make a positive difference in our community and in the world. In this day and age, making content that appeals to the mind is important but real change takes place within the human heart!

Mr. DiMartino also plays in a world music band called The World Beatnix ( He has traveled and performed around the world in places such as Egypt, Morocco, Brazil, Spain, Italy, and Israel. He is also an interfaith minister who is dedicated to bridging the differences between cultures and religions through arts, music, and consciousness.


You can also get tickets for these events for $5 and be part of the live broadcast via event; more information is available at or 530-270-9169.


February 10, 2017 |

The Toltec Arts of Dreaming and Healing

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Aca Dua

By Dr. Arlan Cage, ND, L.Ac and Koyote the Blind

According to official historians, the Toltec culture disappeared in the AD late 900s, leaving nothing more than mysterious cities, impressive pyramids, and rumors still maintained of an ancient culture of art and knowledge. Imagine their surprise when, in the late 20th century, Toltec men and women of knowledge began to emerge from the shadows to reveal the secrets of a culture long kept hidden, deliberately to be shared at this point in history.

Arlan cage-aca dua

Dreaming as the Way to Knowledge

Koyote the Blind is a Toltec man of knowledge who has mastered the esoteric keys known to the enlightened civilizations of the American continent existing before the European conquest. From an early age, while growing up in the midst of war, he learned the sacred arts of the men of knowledge passed down in secret throughout the centuries. He learned, among many things, to become free from the prison of the mind and of the body in which most of humanity is still caged. Koyote learned that there are doors and pathways to other dimensions of existence, parallel words, and realms of experience.

Freedom cannot be truly achieved while the consciousness is trapped in the external world. The soul yearns for liberation, and the ability to exist in the higher levels and dimensions is the divine right of a human being.

Dreaming is the key, the gateway, to the higher dimensions and parallel worlds. This freedom of movement, and the necessary mastery of perception under intent, was the exquisite contribution of the Toltecs to the body of knowledge of humanity. This technology is possible, available, and indispensable for the people, now more than ever.

Koyote has made this key available in a written masterpiece, The Golden Flower. This book contains the keys to mastering the dreaming, gaining access to the astral as well as higher planes of existence, and the teachings of the pinnacle of experience known as the “yoga of dreaming.”


The Link to Healing

The traditional shaman used a form of subtle energy to enhance all the work he or she did. In the Toltec lineage, this energy was referred to by the name “The Power.” This form of energy was virtually unknown to the world until Koyote the Blind released it to the public in 2007 under the name “Aka Dua.”

A number of unique traits distinguish the Aka Dua from other forms of subtle energy such as qi, prana, Reiki, and so forth. First, it does not simply “retune” your energy to make you more receptive. It involves a transmission into your atomic fields of what is described as a “subtle physical substance.” The Aka Dua substance will enhance your receptivity to energy. Aka Dua also contains seven separate subfrequencies, named after the sensations they can impart: solar, lunar, atmospheric, oceanic, volcanic, obsidian, and the final frequency, the un-named.

As a form of subtle energy, Aka Dua has the potential to be stronger than any other known form. As such, Aka Dua is a powerful primary healing modality. It can also be combined with other energies, Reiki for example, and it can help make any other form of healing modality you use more powerful. Acupuncture, massage, physical therapy, and even your clinical judgment can be enhanced by the Aka Dua energy. Aka Dua healing energy may well turn out to be one of the great advances in healing in the 21st century.

Interestingly, the subtle energies have been found to be fully consistent with and explainable by principles of modern physics, the branch of physics that includes quantum mechanics, relativity, and string theory. Long considered by mainstream science to induce nothing more than a possible placebo effect, the various forms of subtle energy, including the Aka Dua, turn out to have well-founded scientific explanations. The Aka Dua Healing Institute offers transmissions and attunements for the Aka Dua energy, along with classes and other resources.

koyote-and-dr-cageJoin us for a day of exploration of the Toltec arts of dreaming and healing. At 10am on Saturday, March 11, we start with a free introductory course on Aka Dua energy healing, presented by Dr. Arlan Cage, ND, L.Ac, head of the Aka Dua Institute of Healing based in Mount Shasta, California, and specifically selected by Koyote to lead the effort of the dissemination of the Aka Dua healing energy. Learn about the fascinating history of the Aka Dua energy, its scientific explanations, and applications in healing and the transformation of your consciousness. You will also have an opportunity to receive transmissions of the Aka Dua energy.

At 1pm we continue with a unique experience with Koyote the Blind, in which he will present his techniques and where you will experience first-hand the conscious opening into the worlds and dimensions of the sacred dreaming. Koyote’s workshops are experiential, highly practical, and transformative.

Aca Dua

Come and discover what has always been trying to emerge through your dreams, your intuition, and from the vast mystery of the unknown.

Both classes will be held 10am-6pm Saturday, March 11, 2017, at the Win-River Resort and Casino, 2100 Redding Rancheria Rd., Redding CA, 96001, upstairs in the Eagle Room.

For more information or to register for these events, contact the Aka Dua Institute of Healing,,, or 530-926-1600, or secure your space through Paypal at

January 7, 2017 |

Spiritual Activist Radio Donations

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Spiritual Activist Radio Donations

In today’s world of Misinformation and Disinformation we need to be wise and use discernment whenever we read or watch the news. I go to great lengths to fact check anything I talk about or write about so I can bring you the best information possible; not to tell you what to think, but simply to get you to think armed with good solid information with no agenda behind it.

To make this happen I must stay independent of advertisement so your “Tax Free Donations” is what makes that happen. You can get a glimpse of what I’ve been doing on my You Tube Channel (

If you aren’t impressed enough to make a Donation yet, then take a look at the magazine my wife, Dhara, and I have created here in northern CA that is over 12 years old now,

You might also want to check out my Rahasya Uncensored TV segment I have on the Golden Road Television Show where I also do interviews and talks about world and local affairs,

Why do I call the show “Spiritual Activist”?  Because in today’s world we need to start looking at the solutions to our problems from a higher level of consciousness because that’s where the lasting solutions will be found.  That’s the “Spiritual” aspect. But then we need to take action in the world we live in and stop hiding and just hoping things will get better, that’s where the “Activist” aspect comes in. You can visit my Radio Show on BBS Radio here

Spiritual Activist-Donations

If you have any questions I invite you to call me at 530-894-8433

or email me at

Your Donation Will Help To Awaken the
Minds & Hearts of Countless People, Thank you, Rahasya

$10. / $20. / $50. /$100. / or more, it all helps


December 29, 2016 |

The Little Red Hen

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Little Red Hen

Little Red HenThe Little Red Hen

Empowering Children and Adults

with Developmental Disabilities

By Blake Ellis

NOTE from Lotus Guide: Like most business owners we often wonder why we do what we do. We obviously have financial goals so we can meet our responsibilities in the world around us; however, as we read this article we realized the true significance of what we do. We love helping people who help people and we are so appreciative of all of our advertisers and readers who make it possible to help promote organizations such as The Little Red Hen and the many other people and organizations who are out there making this world a little better and easing the suffering of those in our community. Rahasya & Dhara


If you live in Chico, Little Red Hen is probably a name you have heard before. Perhaps you’ve landscaped your yard with drought-tolerant plants bought at the nursery. Maybe you ordered a lovely bouquet from the Floral & More on Mother’s Day to show your mom just how special she is. You might have even decorated your home with a unique find from the Vintage Hen, or found the perfect gift for that certain someone at the Gift Shop or Kids & Kitchen. However, what you may not have heard of is Little Red Hen’s best-kept “secret,” the Park and Garden.

Little Red Hen has been empowering children and adults with developmental disabilities for more than a decade by offering fair and paid employment, socialization, and educational opportunities. This nonprofit organization is founded on the belief that everyone is capable of growth and deserves the opportunity to do so. Little Red Hen gives individuals, in a marginalized and underserved community, the opportunity to grow. However, at the Park and Garden, career and social skills and self-esteem aren’t the only things growing …

At Park and Garden we have more than 15 raised beds, in order to accommodate people of all abilities, where we sustainably and organically grow seasonal fruits and vegetables. We also have a small orchard where we grow peaches, apples, figs, jujubes, cherries, and will soon add citrus trees. The staff members at Park and Garden are able to learn a multitude of organic and sustainable practices, such as integrated pest management, companion and succession planting, composting techniques, and more. Working with your hands out in the garden is healing, and we view our work at Park and Garden as therapeutic plant and land stewardship. All of our organic produce is given away to the staff at no cost to them, and it is delivered weekly to a different Little Red Hen location.

Adults and children with developmental disabilities are disproportionately affected by preventable chronic diseases—such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and obesity. One of our main areas of focus at the Park and Garden is education. We offer nutrition lessons one to two times a month and hand out healthy and affordable recipes with every produce delivery. In our nutrition lessons we cover a range of topics from “eating healthy on a budget” to “how to properly read a nutrition label.” Together we aim to empower our staff with the knowledge and the ability to make healthier choices.

The future of the Park and Garden is indeed in the hands of our future—our children. The Children’s Garden will be open to the public and will enthusiastically welcome children from all backgrounds. We will offer education on growing food and nutrition through hands-on, experiential learning in the garden and through cooking classes. We understand the importance of connecting children to the earth and to their food and providing them with an interactive, exciting environment in which to learn and grow. The health and education of our children are of utmost importance and one thing is clear—if a child grows a tomato, a child will eat a tomato.

The plans are big for Little Red Hen’s Park and Garden and we don’t want them to be a secret any longer. We are taking an intersectional approach to improve the lives of our staff, our children, our community, and our environment. Come to Park and Garden and see for yourself. Come grow with us!


For more information about Little Red Hen please visit or drop in at:

  • Little Red Hen Gift Shop, 897 E. 20th St #B
  • Little Red Hen Vintage Hen, 973 East Ave.
  • Little Red Hen Therapeutic Plant Nursery, 189 E. 8th St.

October 27, 2016 |

Take a Walk on the Golden Road

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Golden Road Radio Hour

Take a Walk on the Golden Road

By Gary Parks

The bold statement heading the website declares a lofty goal: “Bridging the past with today for a better tomorrow.” And in Nevada City, California, it’s happening right now. With a mission to “explore the intersection of arts and culture, health, environment, peace and justice, and science and technology,” the Golden Road Radio Hour seeks to build a better future through education, empowerment, community building, and positive social change.

At its core, the weekly Golden Road Radio Hour is a fast-paced, two-hour show highlighting useful and inspiring ideas, presented by a variety of individuals who are actively sharing their gifts with the community. You might listen to a valuable holistic health tip, followed by a moment from Nevada County history, a report on GMO legislation, and a demonstration of healing vocalization. The presentations are interspersed with musical performances, stories, interviews, and humor—with different themes and concepts explored weekly. Some of the shows are performed and recorded with a live audience, adding another dimension to the presentation.

Golden Road Radio HourSimilar to the biological process, birthing an idea and nurturing its growth takes substantial time, energy, and commitment. And so the Golden Road Radio Hour was born during the past 18-plus months, initiated by musician, producer, educator, and Drums Around the World founder Michael DiMartino—and aided by a multitalented team of volunteers.

Arriving in Nevada County about four years ago, DiMartino was inspired by the variety of talent, knowledge, and skills represented in this modestly sized Sierra Foothills community. As he interacted with more and more people, he began looking for ways to give them a microphone to the world—a means to spread the messages of hope, joy, and healing to a wider audience. And having produced major events such as a millennial world music festival in Egypt in 1999, and a five-day festival and conference at the Mayan Pyramids in Mexico in 2012, the format of a live show was a natural fit.

DiMartino and other team members have extensive experience in radio, television, and music and audio production. These elements have been brought to the foreground, bringing excellent production values to the show. With the folksy character of Prairie Home Companion, the breadth and impact of the TED talks, and the musical variety of eTown as inspiration, they developed a concept that included live radio shows (including audio and video recording, web streaming, and live radio broadcast), in-studio radio shows that are also videotaped for rebroadcast, and sharing the shows regionally in cooperation with other public radio and television stations.

Members of the local community were invited to participate in developing the show: contributing as presenters and entertainers; providing the audio- and video-production backbone; keeping the show flowing smoothly backstage; and helping to nurture its growth. Strong links have been forged with Nevada City TV, the thriving KVMR community radio station, and the local performing-arts venues in the area. As Michael DiMartino says, “There’s a seat on the bus for everyone.”

The August 2016 launch of the Golden Road Radio Hour included three live radio shows held in the historic Nevada Theater—California’s oldest existing theater still in operation. Throughout each evening, members of the audience were treated to a variety of short talks, music, poetry, dance, storytelling, and visual arts. They were able to see, hear, and participate in the nuts and bolts of a live production as it happened while enjoying some great entertainment and inspiring thoughts.

These first shows were recorded and filmed, with the second show broadcast live on KVMR radio and the third show live-streamed to the Internet. They have been edited and are available for viewing on Golden Road’s YouTube channel and the website. Featured musicians included Ma Muse, Brandon Phillips, multi-instrumentalist Paul Ong, World Beatnix, the Rayos, Art Rock Ensemble, and Gary & Eva. Juggler and storyteller Izzi Tooinsky added a dollop of humor to the second show, and the audience at the third show was treated to both Persian and flamenco dance. Part of the proceeds from each show went to local nonprofits, including Hospitality House, FARM, and the Friendship Club.

A team of regular content providers is in place, variously involved in the recorded and live parts of the show. “Global Golden Road Radio HourRhythms,” the environmental issues of “Range of Light,” “Sound Advice” with healing sounds, “Gift of Health,” the “Peace and Justice Report,” and “Inner Path” are typical features. Leslee Sesno provides “In the Field” interviews by “collecting voices from the community about social issues, with the aim to bridge the gap across generations.”

There is still room for you to become involved. Members of the team meet weekly, with a spirit of consciousness and collaboration, as they plan the next steps. Interested content providers can go to the website and send a note on the Contact page describing their presentation.

Check out the shows online on YouTube or at, and listen 6-8pm every Sunday on Sacramento’s KUBU 96.5 radio or on KVMR as scheduled. The videotaped shows can be seen on NCTV Channel 17 in Nevada County, Access Sacramento Channel 17, or Tahoe Truckee Channel 6 community television. Come take a walk on the Golden Road …

October 27, 2016 |


Comments Off on Nartan-Vital-Dance-Meditation
Nartan-Vital Dance

Vital Dance,

Creative Expression, Vitality, and Meditation

Due to circumstances beyond our control

this workshop has been cancelled.

By Nartan Lemos

Nartan-bannerScroll Down To Pay and Take advantage of the Early Bird Special

  The expression “stand on your own two feet” ends up symbolizing some of the most intense deep work a human being can do. Besides dealing with the pressure of gravity on our heads and spine, we also need muscle strength to maintain the right tension as we move, this is where “Vital Dance’ comes in.

      If we want the feeling of being connected and grounded, we must develop vertically from the top of our heads touching the sky, down


through our chests, and finally with our feet planted firmly on the ground. Then and only then can we get the feeling of lightness and surrender that lead to higher awareness and consciousness.

The Vital Dance is an invitation using communication with body and spirit to awaken us to the abundant life that is our true heritage. This is why the Vital Dance is much more than another physical exercise. This process can awaken ancestral wisdom that allows us to have a true experience of the true “I Am.”

By unblocking our muscle armor and aligning our chakras, we are open for direct communication with ancestral memories with feet firmly planted on the ground and our awareness set free. With the internal development of our attention and presence we find ourselves inhabiting a universe of abundance.

By the integration of the rhythms and techniques in the Vital Dance we are once again in alignment to have direct dialogue with the universal mind and body. With a symbiotic connection with essence, we find ourselves in touch with our internal guide, balanced and expressing our deepest intuition and intention.

By focusing on tranquility and exercising our spiritual presence we find that our spiritual consciousness is in our body, not somewhere outside ourselves far away and impersonal—or do you still believe that it is outside of your body, in some place very, very far away?


“Learning to love yourself , create bond and intimacy with each other,

and develop through social relations , gives us a full life.”

Why Dance?

Nartan Dancing

Expressing ourselves naturally is something we are all born with but throughout our lives our desires are suppressed. Suppression comes in many forms—societal, religious, and cultural—all of which can and do cause much of the “dis-ease” we live with in today’s world. The deep disconnect we feel with our bodies and minds causes us to build up what Wilhelm Reich called “muscle armor,” which in turn causes us to take very shallow breaths, which de-energizes us and is at the root of many of our health problems.

Through the Vital Dance we work with movement to transform the body’s rigidity into a more fluidlike elasticity, a dance that takes us to self-knowledge and relaxation, which “allows” meditation to happen. By coming out of isolation and accepting our differences we become our “authentic selves” and find our unique styles, movements, and gestures.


Beyond sound and words, movement and dance have always represented a deep and authentic mode of communication in our world.


Through dance and movement we come into balance with our internal rhythms, which leads to a deep body awareness with all of its abilities to go beyond our previous limits set by the world we live in.


The Dance Called Love

“The dance needs to be learned, her grace and her movements; you need to train your body for this. You are born only with the capacity. You are born with a body; you can be a dancer for this reason. But the dance needs to be learned and it depends only on you.”—Osho Osho-Dance


The therapeutic use of dance and movement is a simple yet powerful tool that allows us to increase our physical and mental presence and being in the world around us. Dance allows us to also explore the many aspects of the masculine and feminine found deep within our souls.

Nartan-Vital DanceBy using dance as a tool along with the artistic, educational, and therapeutic resources found within dance, we can find new ways to overcome life’s challenges and live happier and healthier lives, which are our birthright.

The Vital Dance course is a compilation of the many dance techniques associated with Osho and his meditations.

Nartan Lemos is a psychologist and “body psychotherapist” and certified teacher of the Learning Love Institute. Nartan has trained in many dance techniques, including Brazilian Rhythms, Gurdjieff Sacred Dance, Sacred Circle Dances, Orixas Dances, and Moving Meditations. She has membership with the International Dance Council (CID) at UNESCO and is former publisher and owner of Guia Lotus magazine (sister magazine of Lotus Guide) in Brasilia, where she lives today.


Take advantage of the Early Bird Special if you BUY before October 15th.    

You can Bring a Friend for only $20. or BUY at the door for $40. although
we are going to limit the size of the group to maintain an intimate atmosphere
so it would be better to secure your spot now. 530-894-8433.

Vital Dance Experience

July 10, 2016 |

Raising Our Consciousness: What Are You Thinking?

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By Nayaswami Anandi

Yogananda made an amazing statement in Autobiography of a Yogi: “Thoughts are universally and not individually rooted.”

I have found this statement so valuable. We can release the idea that our thoughts are ours personally. Instead, our thoughts reflect the level of consciousness we’re experiencing at the time.

This makes me think of the record changers of my youth. Vinyl records were stacked on the record player spindle, and they would drop one at a time to be played.Anandi-27-1-copy-2

When our consciousness is on a certain wavelength, it’s like playing a certain record. When our minds are unclear, we are on a record at the bottom of the stack. We’ll see all of life from that level, and our thoughts will reflect this. If we feel fearful, anything we turn our minds to seems threatening and fear inducing.

If we are on the record of criticism, we criticize this person and the next and also ourselves. No one seems to be all right.

When we have negative thoughts, it’s easy to become upset with ourselves and try to fight those thoughts. But Yogananda’s statement reminds us not to identify with any thoughts—they are not our own. We’re simply playing the wrong record.

We need to move up the stack of thought records. How? By choosing positive influences. Instead of wasting time worrying about negative thoughts, we can put ourselves in alignment with higher thoughts—through reading inspiring books, doing Ananda Yoga with affirmations, listening to talks by people with high consciousness, mingling with friends who have a higher consciousness.

Another powerful way of changing consciousness is to focus the mind with great energy, and at the same time relaxation, at the point between the eyebrows, the seat of highest awareness in the body. Sometimes a negative train of thought will vanish instantly as you practice this.

Remember, the greatest and most beautiful thoughts that have ever been expressed are also available to us at any time. We simply need to raise our consciousness to be able to receive them.

Nayaswami Anandi is known for her natural warmth, humor, wisdom, and kindness. One of the founding members of Ananda, she began sharing the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda soon after her arrival there in 1971. An Ananda minister since 1980, Anandi has directed and taught in many of Ananda’s guest and outreach programs at The Expanding Light Retreat and around the world. As an editor for Ananda’s Crystal Clarity books, she has created a seven-book series based on Yogananda’s original teachings, which include the popular How to Be Happy All the Time. Anandi is married to Joseph Bharat Cornell, a Chico State grad and world-renowned nature educator. Anandi will be a featured speaker at The Autobiography of a Yogi weekend events in Chico April 29 and 30 and in Reno June 17 and 18. For information about these celebrations visit

April 15, 2016 |

What if We Grew a Garden and Gave the Food Away! ?

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By Pat Basham

That simple question was the beginning of a phenomenon. Self-sustaining gardens have sprouted throughout Butte County, providing free food to hundreds who’d never had nutritious affordable options.

Homeless shelters, residential and rehabilitation facilities, schools, day care centers, clubs, and neighborhoods are harvesting the many benefits of gardening thanks to From the Ground Up (FTGU). Yet growing and giving away food was just the start of social change that has magnetized the support of many dozens of area businesses, musicians, clubs, artists, and activists. How did this happen?

Meeting with the masterminds of FTGU was a joy. The energy of their mission, vision, and dedication is like organic super-powered fertilizer. Add hard work, tireless volunteers, a generous community, and sunshine, and well … magic just has to happen.

FTGU_Logo_300dpi-copyFor FTGU founder and Executive Director Jenny Lowrey, awakening to an organic, nutrient-rich, unprocessed-food lifestyle literally saved her life. After she had seven heart attacks, two strokes, too much extra weight, and way too many medications, her doctor fired her. She knew serious change or death were the only remaining options.  Jenny and cofounder Bruce Matthews dove in with no previous gardening or nutrition experience yet produced astonishing results. Then they decided to share the success. “Safe, healthy, nutritious food is not only for the wealthy,” said Jenny.

FTGU Is about So Much More Than Gardening!

Planning, building, planting, tending, and harvesting the gardens is just the first course of this delicious offering. FTGU sponsors free workshops on all aspects of gardening, harvesting, nutrition, food preparation, Mason jar meals, and food storage. It’s entirely volunteer run and all at no cost to participants. No one takes a salary. All of the food grown is donated to food pantries and programs feeding anyone in need.

What makes FTGU unique? “It’s the personal aspect,” said Tami Donnelson, FTGU Board president and volunteer. “Everyone has their hands in the dirt. Education is population specific, tailored to the audience and garden location.” Communities are built as residents pull their own weeds, share resources, and enjoy the bountiful harvest. Taking ownership fosters pride and returns control over one’s life.

Need food? “We’ve never had to turn down a request for food,” Jenny said, “but daily we have to turn down requests for gardens.” Once a group agrees to maintain a garden, FTGU will help with everything else: funding, building, hands-in-the-dirt education, harvesting, and meal preparation. “We provide a low-cost model that anyone can follow.” For example, $200 provides all that’s needed for a 10’x4’ planted raised bed to easily feed a family of four with fresh veggies all year.

“When conscious people come together great things happen,” said Tami. “We want Lotus Guide readers to come play with us! We want what you have to offer, like a potluck of experience, knowledge, and intentions.”

FTGU extends heartfelt gratitude to The Pollination Project, Safeway Foundation, The Hignell Foundation, and the dozens of area businesses and individuals who have provided financial, equipment, and physical support! Please visit for a full list of supporters!

Ways to Get Involved

Consider a neighborhood garden—great for neighborhood watch.

Lend out your garden.

Have something you want to share with the community? FTGU will provide the space and the audience.

Need funding for a garden idea? FTGU will help you get it.

To get involved contact:

From the Ground Up

1692 Mangrove Ave. #105, Chico, CA 95926


April 15, 2016 |

A Breath of Fresh Air in Paradise

Comments Off on A Breath of Fresh Air in Paradise

By Anne G Weaver and Edited by Season Naify

A vehicle for re-creating flow, ‘Ohana Health lays out like an energy grid with many roads for members of the community to find their way back into the flow of life, energy, vibrancy, health, and total well-being.

In what was once an abandoned auto parts store, ‘Ohana Health revamped the historic 1950s location at 757 Fir Street in downtown Paradise. Since January of 2013, we’ve been serving the Ridge community as a place of healing, conviviality, and community resource center.

LGAD_Ohana_Health_1-6Soft healing music greets customers as they enter and walk upon the genuine bamboo flooring throughout the center, complemented by green plants and serene artistic tapestries.

“Hearing the exhale when someone enters for the first time is music to my ears,” says owner Anne Weaver, who, with her husband, Duane “Kevin” Weaver, cocreated this sanctuary on the Ridge. “They seem surprised to find such a place in Paradise,” she said, “but what’s most heartwarming is when they say, ‘Thank you for being here.’ To see the change in a person’s whole demeanor and visage, to see their color come back after a healing … it warms my heart like nothing I’ve ever experienced. It’s just the best!”

The core of healing offerings at ‘Ohana Health comprise therapeutic massage, yoga, community acupuncture, Reiki, classes, and workshops, all working in tandem to amplify and synergize healing effects. However, it’s much more than that. ‘Ohana is a place for people to just be, to come and sip tea served all day in the lobby, borrow from the lending library, and connect with kindred souls. ‘Ohana serves organic, non-GMO wellness blends of tea that are also available for purchase.

As soon as you cross the threshold you are likely to meet Kevin, who manages ‘Ohana, manages to connect people with other people and services, and manages to help people, one person at a time, with his unique intuitive ability to tune into their troubles and guide them to a solution.

Massage therapy is a foundational aspect of healing at ‘Ohana. Three full-time, expertly trained massage therapists offer Swedish, deep tissue, warm stone, craniosacral, and reflexology, among other modalities in three individually appointed treatment rooms.

Angela Gaitan, CMT, and Steven Acker, CMT, are California-certified therapists who are also licensed from Arizona, a state with especially high qualification requirements. Honed by several years of experience, each has more than 1,000 hours of education in injury recovery and therapeutic treatments. Anne Weaver, CMT, got her license from Washington state, another stickler for quality, and she is also certified in Oncology massage. She has been practicing massage in Paradise for more than 15 years.

‘Ohana Yoga has its own 900-square-foot studio with bamboo flooring and more than 15 classes per week. Certified instructors offer classes from yin yoga and level 2-3 to workshops and special classes such as Doga (Yoga with your dog). Certified instructors include Amanda Correa, Lynn Larsen, Jahnavi Urlich, Brittany Poetzman, Tatiana Echevarria, Inna Lukyanov, and Serena Gualotuna.

Community acupuncture is offered 1-5pm on Wednesdays in a spacious room with several recliners and antigravity chairs. Calming music plays quietly in the background with the light trickling of a lotus fountain. Adam Moes, L.Ac from Chico, has more than 15 years in clinical practice, and he brings stunning accuracy to low-cost, clothes-on treatments on the Ridge ($20-$40 sliding scale). Adam comes with his full kit of Chinese herbs and his apprentice, Andre. Treatments take less than an hour and no appointment is necessary. Custom herb formulas are available to order. Chinese medicine is both acupuncture and herbs and works for all manner of illnesses and conditions.

‘Ohana Health is also home to Starchamber Products’ VEW Water and healing tools and to the Bio-Chromatic Integrator (BCI) pad (one of 20 in the world), the culmination of 40 years of research and development by its creator, Tommie Mercer. The BCI pad is made up of sands, soils, and minerals from all over the world and is a tool for raising one’s energy and consciousness. Clients report an array of clearings, openings, and awarenesses from sessions on the pad.

We also offer hypnotherapy from certified hypnotherapist Lucinda Balgooyen, professional psychic and intuitive services from Clarisse Conner (professional since 1977), and intuitive angel therapy with Tracie Devlin, certified intuitive coach. Licensed counselors also offer private counseling services by appointment.

Special events that expand the reach and healing capacity of the center occur throughout the year at ‘Ohana Health. The Tibetan monks of the Gaden Shartse Phukong Monastery recently honored the center with visiting for six separate events.

Coming from 11am to 5pm on Sunday, April 24, is the Third Annual Holistic Health Health Fair throughout the 4,000-square-foot building. Vendors come from all over the Sacramento Valley to showcase their gifts, talents, and crafts. It is an event that vendors and the community look forward to every year.

“I came into ‘Ohana partially broken and continue to arrive increasingly whole. The kindness, compassion, and intuition of Anne and Kevin, the accuracy of suggested treatments, the skill of the massage therapists, the precision of acupuncture, the anchor of light on the property, and the power and reach of the BCI have all worked together to bring rapid and inexplicable healing to me on every level,” reports Season Naify, a Paradise resident who was critically ill only days before symptoms fully dissipated through treatment at ‘Ohana.

‘Ohana Health is open 9am to 7pm Monday through Friday and 9am to 4pm on Saturday. Doors are open for the early yoga class before lobby hours, and the rest of the time, a cup of tea and good conversation await the precious moments surrounding your healing experience.

April 14, 2016 |
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