Letters 10-24-2016

It’s Obama’s 1984 Several editions ago I concluded a short letter to the editor with an ominous rhetorical flourish: “Welcome to George Orwell’s 1984 and the grand opening of the Federal Department of Truth!” At the time I am sure most of the readers laughed off my comments as right-wing hyperbole. Shame on you for doubting me...

Gun Bans Don’t Work It is said that mass violence only happens in the USA. A lone gunman in a rubber boat, drifted ashore at a popular resort in Tunisia and randomly shot and killed 38 mostly British and Irish tourists. Tunisian gun laws, which are among the most restrictive in the world, didn’t stop this mass slaughter. And in January 2015, two armed men killed 11 and wounded 11 others in an attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. French gun laws didn’t stop these assassins...

Scripps’ Good Deed No good deed shall go unpunished! When Dan Scripps was the 101st District State Representative, he introduced legislation to prevent corporations from contaminating (e.g. fracking) or depleting (e.g. Nestle) Michigan’s water table for corporate profit. There are no property lines in the water table, and many of us depend on private wells for abundant, safe, clean water. In the subsequent election, Dan’s opponents ran a negative campaign almost solely on the misrepresentation that Dan’s good deed was a government takeover of your private water well...

Political Definitions As the time to vote draws near it’s a good time to check into what you stand for. According to Dictionary.com the meanings for liberal and conservative are as follows:

Liberal: Favorable to progress or reform as in political or religious affairs.

Conservative: Disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditions and limit change...

Voting Takes A Month? Hurricane Matthew hit the Florida coast Oct. 6, over three weeks before Election Day. Bob Ross (Oct. 17th issue) posits that perhaps evacuation orders from Governor Scott may have had political motivations to diminish turnout and seems to praise Hillary Clinton’s call for Gov. Scott to extend Florida’s voter registration deadline due to evacuations...

Clinton Foundation Facts Does the Clinton Foundation really spend a mere 10 percent (per Mike Pence) or 20 percent (per Reince Priebus) of its money on charity? Not true. Charity Watch gives it an A rating (the same as it gives the NRA Foundation) and says it spends 88 percent on charitable causes, and 12 percent on overhead. Here is the source of the misunderstanding: The Foundation does give only a small percentage of its money to charitable organizations, but it spends far more money directly running a number of programs...

America Needs Change Trump supports our constitution, will appoint judges that will keep our freedoms safe. He supports the partial-birth ban; Hillary voted against it. Regardless of how you feel about Trump, critical issues are at stake. Trump will increase national security, monitor refugee admissions, endorse our vital military forces while fighting ISIS. Vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence will be an intelligent asset for the country. Hillary wants open borders, increased government regulation, and more demilitarization at a time when we need strong military defenses...

My Process For No I will be voting “no” on Prop 3 because I am supportive of the process that is in place to review and approve developments. I was on the Traverse City Planning Commission in the 1990s and gained an appreciation for all of the work that goes into a review. The staff reviews the project and makes a recommendation. The developer then makes a presentation, and fellow commissioners and the public can ask questions and make comments. By the end of the process, I knew how to vote for a project, up or down. This process then repeats itself at the City Commission...

Regarding Your Postcard If you received a “Vote No” postcard from StandUp TC, don’t believe their lies. Prop 3 is not illegal. It won’t cost city taxpayers thousands of dollars in legal bills or special elections. Prop 3 is about protecting our downtown -- not Munson, NMC or the Commons -- from a future of ugly skyscrapers that will diminish the very character of our downtown...

Vote Yes It has been suggested that a recall or re-election of current city staff and Traverse City Commission would work better than Prop 3. I disagree. A recall campaign is the most divisive, costly type of election possible. Prop 3, when passed, will allow all city residents an opportunity to vote on any proposed development over 60 feet tall at no cost to the taxpayer...

Yes Vote Explained A “yes” vote on Prop 3 will give Traverse City the right to vote on developments over 60 feet high. It doesn’t require votes on every future building, as incorrectly stated by a previous letter writer. If referendums are held during general elections, taxpayers pay nothing...

Beware Trump When the country you love have have served for 33 years is threatened, you have an obligation and a duty to speak out. Now is the time for all Americans to speak out against a possible Donald Trump presidency. During the past year Trump has been exposed as a pathological liar, a demagogue and a person who is totally unfit to assume the presidency of our already great country...

Picture Worth 1,000 Words Nobody disagrees with the need for affordable housing or that a certain level of density is dollar smart for TC. The issue is the proposed solution. If you haven’t already seen the architect’s rendition for the site, please Google “Pine Street Development Traverse City”...

Living Wage, Not Tall Buildings Our community deserves better than the StandUp TC “vote no” arguments. They are not truthful. Their yard signs say: “More Housing. Less Red Tape. Vote like you want your kids to live here.” The truth: More housing, but for whom? At what price..

Home · Articles · News · Features · The Inner Beauty of Meditation
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The Inner Beauty of Meditation

Meditation & yoga are a way of life for Amanda Rodasi Campbell

Robert Downes - October 14th, 2013  

It’s been said that the eyes are the window to the soul, and if that’s true, then those of Amanda Rodasi Campbell would seem to reflect the serenity she finds in meditation.

Campbell’s eyes dance in hues which defy easy description -- a touch of the silvery sea

perhaps. She’s been told that she should have been a model, but instead she’s pursued a spiritual path since childhood, which now includes sharing her knowledge through classes at Yen Yoga and Higher Self in Traverse City.

“I’ve had stars in my eyes since an early age and have always been a seeker,” she says of her days growing up in Frankfort. “I grew up in the Methodist church but started seeking early on and have always enjoyed comparing various religions and ideas,” Campbell, 36, took up yoga at the age of 12 after discovering an old, yellowed book on hatha yoga. Although the book had no pictures of the various postures, it began her lifelong interest in yoga. As a teen interested in dance, fashion and music, Campbell also became fascinated with Eastern ways of life, including Buddhism and Hinduism. At the age of 18 she met her mentor, Daniele DeVoe, a psychic and energy healer who introduced her to meditation.


“Meditation is a way to disconnect all of the chatter in the mind,” says Campbell. “It’s a way to do something besides obsessively thinking all of the time. The ultimate goal of meditation is to re-establish life in the present moment and help develop the muscles of consciousness and awareness.”

If you’re completely clueless on meditation, you can try a simple form of the practice by repeating the sound of “om” in your thoughts while resting in a quiet space. Other forms, such as Transcendental Meditation (TM), provide meditators with specific sounds called mantras.

Campbell, whose Sanskrit name is Rodasi, practices a form of meditation called the Bright Path Ishayas’ Ascension, which involves four techniques. As with TM, in which individual mantras are kept secret, the techniques of Ishayas’ Ascension are also kept a mystery from all except those who take up the practice.

“There’s a little bit of intrigue to the practice,” Campbell says with a smile. “Ultimately, it’s about the importance of transmission to those who wish to try it.”

But the basic idea of Ishayas’ Ascension is to insert these techniques into the thoughts of a busy mind as its toxic chatter melts away.

Campbell says practitioners can even use the technique to meditate with their eyes open during their daily activities. It’s a way to bring calm to a mind that’s racing with stressful thoughts. “I’ve become adept at totally turning off all thoughts and being in a state of pure witnessing.”


“I personally do 20 of 30 minutes of meditation when I get up in the morning and when I go to bed at night,” she says. “And then I try to fit in a meditation during some portion of the day.”

There are numerous benefits to meditation. “First of all, people start to notice that they’re more comfortable in their own skin and feel more comfortable in life,” Campbell says. “It also helps you to become aware of the choices you make in life, including those which are causing you pain. You start making better choices.”

Other benefits include lowering one’s blood pressure, slowing the heart rate, introducing more oxygen to the bloodstream and improving brain function. A so-called “meditation molecule” is created which lessens stress in one’s nervous system.


Campbell is also a yoga instructor whose asana practice is designed to help prepare the body for meditation. She is a yogini, the female term for yogi, or teacher.

Her journey as a young adult took her to the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY, in 1999, a holistic center that teaches subjects ranging from shamanic Reiki healing to distant viewing with the likes of Deepak Chopra in attendance. She spent six months at the institute, where she “taste-tested many spiritual teachings, styles of yoga and meditation.”

“The institute let me see that there were lots of other people doing things that I was meant to do beyond growing up in a small town where I didn’t fit,” she recalls.

The experience set her on a lifelong quest to study and teach, including two years spent in a meditation community in North Carolina. She says her journey crystallized in 2011 when she graduated as an international meditation teacher and met Maharishi Krishnananda Ishaya at a retreat in Montserrat, Spain -- a teacher she plans to visit again soon.

It was in Spain that Campbell received the name Rodasi, which in one interpretation means goddess of lightning.

Today, Campbell is a single mother to Lauren Chamberlain, 7, and an ad salesperson for Spirituality & Health magazine. She also teaches meditation and yoga both locally and at workshops across the country.

Her classes include a weekly meditation session each Sunday from 9-10 a.m. at Yen Yoga in TC, along with workshops and classes at Higher Self Bookstore. She also teaches yoga on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Yen, and on Wednesday evenings at the Shanti School of Yoga in TC. Additionally, she offers one-on-one instruction, writes a newsletter and blog, and gives numerous talks on meditation.

“I’ve also just recorded a meditation CD with Andy VanGuilder of Halohorn Productions,” she says, adding that it will be available at local bookstores and on Amazon. com in late October.

Beyond that Campbell would like to introduce the value of meditation to the corporate world at venues such as Hagerty Insurance. “My dream is to make a living by getting into a corporate environment and being able to share these techniques with more people.”

For more about Amanda Rodasi Campbell and meditation, check out her Facebook page, website http://www.thebrightpath.com/ and blog, http://themavenofmeditation.wordpress.com/

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