Category: Reader Favorites

Considering the Incan Trinity: Condor, Puma, Snake

A condor over an oven in Pisac, Peru Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

The Brawny Sherpa and I are not long in Peru when we notice recurring images of condors, pumas, and snakes. These are the figures in the Incan trinity, our guide informs us. The imagery is on contemporary art and found…

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Finding Ulysses in the Big Apple

President Ulysses S. Grant lying in state in City Hall, New York City, 1885. Photo credit: National Park Service Manhattan Historic Sites Archive

Presidents—Past, Present, Future—Seem to Love New York Of all the entries on the list of first politicians lured to or born in New York is one that, for me, does not typically conjure associations with the Empire State. Think U.S.…

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Austrian Anomalies

Vienna

Looking for Understanding in France and New York I don’t know much about Austria beyond the Sound of Music. Little makes sense to me about Austria despite my efforts to understand. How could the homeland of Marie-Antoinette, who herself struggled…

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A Spiritual Altitude Adjustment at Machu Picchu

Looking out at the world from Machu Picchu, Peru Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

I am so concerned with the physical challenge of Machu Picchu—how much will the altitude affect me? will my head hurt? will I be able to breathe?—that I don’t spend as much time as I should contemplating the spirituality of…

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In Praise of Pachamama

An image of a shaman at a cemetery in Cusco, Peru

Experience the Tranquility of a Session with a Shaman The organized religion to which I was introduced as a child is one of repetition and repentance; we must constantly seek to avoid damnation for repeatedly soiling ourselves in sin. Also,…

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How We Want Woodstock

Watching Peace, Love & Misunderstanding (2012), I remember how I’d like my ideal life to be, full of Jane Fonda as a hip grandmother, happily cluttered houses fostering free-range chickens, and women with whom to howl at the moon whenever…

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