Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Winter 2010 Issue is Now Available!!!

Well, it’s the end of another year, and now is the time to reflect upon what has transpired over the previous months, and set a clear course for the months that lie in front of us.

For me, this year has been one of many professional and personal challenges. I don’t need to go into details, but suffice it to say the circumstances of my life are more difficult than they have ever been at any time in the past.

I could not have navigated the treacherous terrain of the year 2009 without the help of my family and friends. Along the same lines, I can assure you that Balanced Living would not be publishing today without the strong support of its core group of advertisers.

One of my college friends always said, “If we party together when the gettin’ is good, and have each other’s back when the goin’ gets tough, the world will be a better place.” Maybe not as profound as some inspirational statements, but you get the spirit of what he is saying.

It takes a village to survive these days. The holistic health and wellness/sustainable living community of Northeast Ohio is a village, and we all have to help each other survive and thrive in the year ahead.

Balanced Living will do its part to be a hub of activity for the local market. In the year ahead, you will see a new approach to the content of each issue, a new web site, a specialized web portal for consumers and in April, we will sponsor the Gift of Light Expo, a new live event.

There are many days when I wake up in wonder at the world, at the possibilities, opportunities and potential that exists for all of us. In our own way, we have the ability to change the world for the better at any moment, if we choose to do it.

In 2010, I ask you to look for your chance to make the world a better place. You can do it one thought and one action at a time. Have a great holiday season and an exciting start to the new year.

-- Mark S. Kuhar, publisher/editor

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Emotional Wisdom Daily Tools for Transforming Anger, Depression, and Fear By Mantak Chia and Dena Saxer

Today we are featuring a new book that offers tools for transforming anger, depression and fear. With his modern approach to traditional Taoist teachings, Mantak Chia, with one of his senior instructors, presents a health-enhancing program for transforming the painful emotions of sadness, anger, impatience and fear into courage, kindness, joy and peace. You will learn to utilize three 20-minute practices through step-by-step instructions and illustrations.

In "Emotional Wisdom," the authors explain that negative emotions are messages from our soul that something is out of balance and needs to be changed. They offer the following based tools for learning from and harnessing the powerful energies of troubling emotions, by transmuting them into positive, life-force energy:

a: The Six Healing Sounds - Practice uses for specific sounds, arm movements and visualized colors to release negative emotions from particular internal organs.

b: The Inner Smile - Practice begins with visualizing and feeling a joyful image in our mind's eye; we then move that "smiling energy" into the brain, heart, the internal organs, and the spine, thanking each of our body parts for its particular function as we go.

c: Releasing One Emotion - This practice examines one emotion at a time, deepens and exaggerates its feeling, releases it physically, and asks for the lesson from the emotion.

There is also a "Taoist Natural First Aid-Physical Healing," which offers specific sounds and dietary advice for relieving common physical symptoms, which are listed alphabetically.

New World Library,
price: $14.95
218 pages
available at : http://www.amazon.com/Emotional-Wisdom-Daily-Transforming-Depression/dp/1577316126/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1254693506&sr=1-1

Monday, September 14, 2009

Light Returning

Today we are featuring Light Returning the CD of original music by Acoustic Ocean. The creators of this music are both experts in the fields of body/mind improvement as well as music. As the folk duo Morgan & Phelan, they spent 20 years touring the United States and released four albums of vocal music. The music of acoustic ocean is very soothing and reflective. It is an ideal CD for yoga, meditation, or massage. Each original composition is built around a simple melodic theme played on the Celtic Harp. The essential feeling of each theme is explored and expanded to create a lush instrumental mosaic of sound. The CD features 8 songs and is one hour in length. The price is 15.00 and can be purchased at the link below.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Choose Them Wisely

Choose Them Wisely Thoughts Become Things!!
By Mike Dooley
author of Notes from the Universe
and featured teacher in The Secret

Living the life of your dreams isn't just about dreaming. It's also about living: following your impulses, turning over every stone, and stepping out into the world so that the wind can catch your sails. To those in the know, it's as if your dreams paint the picture and the Universe stands ready to bring it to life. Choose them Wisely is filled with the same inspirational messages from "the Universe" that made the Notes from the Universe trilogy so popular, but the thoughts have been expanded, containing even more information and concrete examples for how to actually apply these ideas to everyday life. Author Mike Dooley's conversational, inviting tone welcomes readers at every level of self-development into the wonder of their own self-directed futures.

available here in hard cover or compact disk

Lost and Found: A Memoir of Mothers

written by Kate St.Vincent Vogl

A beautiful find . . . --Lorian Hemingway

A must-read for anyone touched by adoption. --Jan Schwartz

A terrific read! --Margaret Hasse

Product Description
I swore I would never let my birthmother into my life, but then Mom died of ovarian cancer and my birthmother, Val, found me through the obituary. Hard to argue with fate. Harder still to let go of childhood promises. This memoir explores what it is to be a mom and what it is to lose one. And so Lost and Found: A Memoir of Mothers is for anyone who has ever loved and lost (or maybe even found) a mother.

Lost and Found really found a spot in my heart!!!

by Michele Benjamin

This book touched me deeply. It's a story of how Kate struggles with losing her mother to ovarian cancer and soon after receives a phone-call from a birth-mother who wanted to enter into her life. It is a very heartwarming story of how that birth-mother gradually became a part of an Kate's life and how the author opened her heart to understand herself in ways she never imagined. Her realness through this story kept me very intrigued. It was very heartwarming to me to see how Kate did not shut any of this down and how she worked to make it all fit into a blended family.


CD: Michael Samson "A Still Motion"

Michael Samson's Album cover Photo for "A Still Motion"

CD: Michael Samson "A Still Motion"


On his second album, A Still Motion, solo pianist Michael Samson has created a work of art that musically and philosophically explores what he calls “The Big Paradox” -- a hidden world beneath the surface of everyday life where you can discover meaningful movement and rhythms, the beauty in opposites and contradictions, and often-unrecognized connections between people.

“On the surface of our lives, we see the world with a necessary, practical day-to-day superficiality -- let me get some food, make some money and find some entertainment or pleasure,” explains Samson. “But if we explore a little deeper, we begin to understand that our actions affect others and can have far-reaching consequences along the lines of ‘The Butterfly Effect’ theory that even an insect flapping its wings might change the fate of the world. In addition, movement and rhythm are everywhere in our world, all the way down to the level of sub-atomic particles that are always in motion. And it eventually becomes apparent that there is beauty in opposites -- darkness and light, sadness and happiness, and stillness and movement. The title of the album and the first song reflect that. The music also utilizes some of these concepts such as opposing time-signatures, combining major and minor modes, a composition with two very different sections, or strong emotion running beneath the surface of a melody.”

Michael Samson’s music (the 24 tunes contained on his CDs Until Tomorrow Comes and A Still Motion) can be purchased singly or in cost-effective package deals at his comprehensive and user-friendly website www.MichaelSamson.com. Other sales outlets include Amazon.com, CDbaby.com, iTunes.com and most major digital download locations.

The music has appeal to fans of neo-classical, new age, zone music, contemporary instrumental and acoustic piano. Samson’s music is strongly melodic, sometimes purposely simple and at other moments amazingly complex, often building from gentle beginnings to faster and more forceful conclusions.

Although Samson listens to a wide variety of music, his most direct inspirations are pianists such as Suzanne Ciani, George Winston, William Joseph, Stephan Moccio, Clara Ponty, David Nevue and David Lanz. Samson enjoys other new age artists including Enya, Nicholas Gunn and Yanni. But since childhood, Michael also has been influenced by movie music and has studied film composers -- John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, James Horner, Michael Nyman and Ennio Morricone. In addition, Samson has a love of classical music that goes back to his school-days and early music training (Beethoven, Chopin, Debussy, Satie).

Since Samson creates instrumental music, he included short self-penned poems inside the CD package (and available at his website) to offer listeners some of the meaning and inspiration for each piece. He explains the title tune by saying, “Our world is full of paradox and contradiction, of opposing forces, ideas, thoughts and realities. But those same paradoxes make the world beautiful because they exist in balance. Without it, the world would have no form and our lives no meaning.”

For “Beyond My Question,” he writes, “Some truths lie not in the answers, but in the questions themselves. It is the search itself that defines us.” Samson goes on to say, “Life is really just about making connections. Our lives intersect, join with and reflect onto others. The motion of our lives influences all around us. We are kinetic. We are connected” (“Where Ocean Meets Sky”). “Our lives are part of a great history, a story that connects each and every one of us in common brotherhood and experience that stretches back to the dawn of mankind,” he explains in regards to the composition “Of Times Long Past.” Other pieces on this recording include “In the Music Box” (“Some moments seem to be frozen in time”), “After the Rain” (“I felt a sense of renewal”) and the seven-minute-plus “Words Left Unspoken” (“Some things we just know”).

Samson continues the philosophical musing when discussing “When Light Dances” by making the observation: “There is a rhythm that surrounds us. It is there in the simplest of things -- when light shines through water or reflects on newly-fallen snow; when the rain falls or thunder crashes down; when the wind blows and the trees sway; with each step you take and with the beating of your heart; in the ways we look at one another. In every nod, smile and kiss there is a beautiful rhythm to be heard, seen and felt.”

Although Michael Samson has concentrated on solo piano performances on his first two albums, interestingly enough he began his musical studies playing viola and was in school orchestras from elementary through high school while growing up on New York’s Long Island. However, at age ten he began playing piano “by ear.” Two years later he embarked on formal piano lessons and in just a year or two he was learning advanced pieces such as Debussy’s “Arabesque No. 1” and Beethoven’s “Piano Sonata No. 8 (Sonata Pathetique).” At a state-wide music competition, he performed the latter piece from memory without sheet music which impressed the judges and earned him an extremely high score. Samson wrote his first song, “Walkabout,” and put together a rock band (Michael on piano with three singers, two guitars, bass and drums) which performed in public several times including a concert at school. His teenage years also included singing in the school choir as well as a selective Chamber Singer group. Outside of school he was part of the vocal jazz act Voco-Loco, which sang a cappella.

Samson attended the University of Maryland at College Park for several years. Based on a musical audition tape, he was asked to participate in the prestigious “College Park Scholars Program” for talented students and he graduated from that program after two years with an Arts Citation. He went on to study at HOFSTRA University where he earned a BA Degree in Fine Arts with a specialization in Graphic Design. He took honors courses in art and music at college, but he also spent most of his free time in the dorm basement practicing on a Steinway acoustic grand piano or teaching himself computer skills and web design. During college Michael began improvising on piano and turned some of the melodies into polished compositions. He recorded six of them and put out a mini-CD that he sold on campus.

After graduation Samson continued to write new solo piano material while pursuing a successful career in web development and graphic design. His first official, full-length recording, Until Tomorrow Comes, contains all of the best songs he wrote from 1997 to 2005 presented in the order he wrote them. “When you listen to my first CD, you hear a chronicle of my personal story during those years told through the emotions embodied in the music, and you also hear the progression of my songwriting.”

The material for A Still Motion was written from 2005 through 2008. “It was very important to me that my second album didn’t repeat ideas I had used in the first album. I am constantly pushing myself to improve my playing techniques, my melodic structures, my compositional form and the overall complexity of my musical presentation. I wanted this album to embody more ideas of nuance and juxtaposition.”

In 2009 Samson decided to pursue his music career fulltime, launched his inventive and far-ranging personal website, began actively marketing his music to the public and started offering all of his compositions as sheet music (available at his site). Great care was taken with every aspect of Samson’s artistic presentation including the sound of the recordings, the photography and the CD packaging (from the graphic design to the paper and printing).

“In beautiful things there is a truth to be found, and the experience is unique for each person,” Samson states. “For me, it was in music that I discovered a deeper meaning. Music speaks to me. It makes a connection, both profound and intimate. In music I have found joy and rapture. I have felt my spirit lifted beyond the expression of words. In these deeply personal moments I have found truth -- a truth that can only be found in beauty. I try to pass along that feeling of truth through my music.”

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Your Soul's Plan: Discovering the Real Meaning of the Life You Planned Before You Were Born

Your Soul's Plan: Discovering the Real Meaning of the Life You Planned Before You Were Born by Robert Schwartz explores the premise that we are all eternal souls who plan our lives, including our greatest challenges, before we’re born for purposes of spiritual growth.

The book contains ten true stories of people who planned physical illness, having handicapped children, deafness, blindness, drug addiction, alcoholism, losing a loved one, and severe accidents. The information about their pre-birth plans was obtained by four gifted mediums and channels.

For readers, suffering that once seemed purposeless becomes imbued with deep meaning. Wisdom may be acquired in a more conscious manner; feelings of anger, guilt, blame, and victimization are healed and replaced by acceptance, forgiveness, gratitude, and peace.

Number of pages: 317

Cost: $16.99

You can purchase the book here: http://www.yoursoulsplan.com/order.php

Clutter Busting Book Review

Clutter Busting:
Letting Go of What's Holding you Back

By Brooks Palmer

-An Inspiring, Upbeat Guide to the Spiritual, Creative, and Practical Benefits of Controlling Clutter-

Straightforward and focused, Clutter Busting shows how anyone can begin RIGHT NOW to clear the clutter and debris from their home, garage, office, and life.

Clutter, according to expert author Brooks Palmer, is anything that no longer serves us, from outdated clothes to old habits to people and ways of living that worked at one point but don’t now. Piles of junk in our garages and closets, overflowing papers on our desks and in our files, items unused for years, clothing we never wear, gifts received that we can't seem to toss out — all of these things, says Palmer, come weighted with shame and guilt. Ultimately, they have a suffocating effect on spirit and soul.

Brooks Palmer realized the intense emotional connection most people have with material possessions, and that internal clutter must be addressed before external clutter can be discarded. He created his Clutter Busting method to help people let go of those things they no longer need and to open the doors for new possibilities.

Written in a lively style and loaded with true-life stories, inspiring anecdotes, and practical tips, Clutter Busting is based on the premise stated in the title of the first chapter: “You Are Sacred, Your Things Are Not.” Other chapters explore such fundamental topics as the false identities we assume through clutter; the fear of change those junk piles represent; the addictive nature of holding onto objects; how clearing clutter makes room for clarity and sweeps away confusion and stasis; and much more.

Brooks Palmer’s Clutter Busting, business took off by word of mouth when people began calling, usually out of sheer desperation. He has since been featured in The Los Angeles Business Journal and Daily Candy, and on Living Live and the CBS Channel 2 Nightly News. Brooks travels between Chicago, Florida, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York City, working with clients and offering seminars on getting rid of the clutter in our lives. He lives in Chicago.

His website is www.clutterbusting.com

CD Review: Welcome by Bud Preston

Enjoy the music of Ohio's Finest Contemporary Guitarist. Bud Preston composed, arranged and composed this cd which incorporates actual recorded sounds from Amish country.
The sounds and vibe of this beautiful corner of Ohio resonate in so many hearts and minds. You are sure to enjoy the beautiful acoustic guitar melodies accompanied by the sounds of this enchanted land.
You can purchase the cd here:


Song Titles:

1. A Welcome Spring

2. Mount Hope

3. Charm

4. The Gathering

5. Sugar Creek

6. The Road to Wilmot

7. A Walk Through Berlin

8. Honey Run

9. Falls Kiss

10. Walnut Creek

11. Kidron Around


Monday, August 31, 2009

The Codex: A Divine Writ Volume 1

The Codex: A Divine Writ
Volume 1

by Cyrus Rumi

The Codex,
written by Cyrus Rumi, contains a series of revolutionary revelations for those who
are spiritually inclined and wish to experience the world from a new philosophical and
theological perspective. It speaks to individuals, communities and nations on many levels, both
spiritually and rationally.

Importantly, the
The Codex does not presuppose any particular spiritual or theological belief
system, or religious tradition of the reader; instead, it is all-embracing, welcoming those readers
who profess no faith at all.

Readers should enjoy the book from both subjective and objective viewpoints... appreciating the
subtle and profound nuances that come to your awareness, serving to strengthen your spiritual
experiences and journey into the mysteries of the unknown.

The Codex will be of interest to those interested in non-institutional forms of belief. Hindus and
Buddhists will find it appealing on many levels. Those of monotheistic faiths will also appreciate
the spiritual dimension to the readings; and mystics and New Age thinkers will feel comfortable
with the text.

to order click on the following link:


Guardians of Being

Guardians of Being

words by Eckhart Tolle, author of the Power of Now and A New Earth and art by Patrick McDonnell, Creator of Mutts

This wonderful unique collaboration brings together two masters of their fields, joining
original words of wisdom by Eckhart Tolle with delightful illustrations by Patrick McDonnell.
Inhabited by beloved Mutts characters, every heartwarming page provokes thought, insight,
and smiling reverence for each moment. Sure to be a classic, this charming book will inspire readers everywhere to recognize the lessons of the present moment, as embodied by the dogs and cats who share our world.

Patrick McDonnell is the award-winning creator of the Mutts comic strip, which
appears in over 700 newspapers in 20 countries and has an estimated daily readership of
50 million, as well as the author and illustrator of the picture books The Gift of Nothing,
Hug Time, and the upcoming October release, Wag! (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.)
He lives in New Jersey. His website is www.muttscomics.com

Eckhart Tole is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Power of Now (3 million copies sold) and A New Earth, the fastest-selling Oprah Book Club selection ever
(5 million copies sold.) He speaks and teaches extensively throughout the world. He lives in Vancouver, Canada and his website is www.eckharttolle.com

price: $18.00
129 pages

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Quote for the Weekend

“Brother stand the pain; Escape the poison of your impulses. The sky will bow to your beauty, if you do. Learn to light the candle. Rise with the sun. Turn away from the cave of your sleeping. That way a thorn expands to a rose. A particular glows with the universal.” -- Rumi