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Heaven on Earth

Aspen Times writer

Dear Editor:Where were you when they opened the gates of heaven this past weekend up in Snowmass Village for the Snowmass Wellness Experience? Oh well(ness), maybe you can catch it next year; that’s cool. “Heaven can wait” (alluding lightly to the movie written by Warren Beatty and Elaine May, whose popularity indicated a resurging interest in things spiritual way back in 1978). The only question is, can you wait?Deepak Chopra, speaking with utter calm amidst the rain storm pouring down on Friday afternoon, the wind at one point threatening to blow the tent over where he and his rapt audience went to talk over a few points about medicine for the spirit, all but proved in one masterful stroke of highly developed reasoning that life after death is commonplace. After all, he said, while all the cells of the body are continually being replaced in cycles ranging from one week to two to three years, the same self or person remains.In his book with Paul Perry, “Closer to the Light” (published in 1990), Melvin Morse, M.D. wrote, “By the late 1800s many people no longer believed in heaven and hell. Church attendance dropped dramatically as the Industrial Revolution rapidly vindicated science as the new God.” Now, it seems, things are coming full circle, as science and religion seem to be patching up their “marriage.”This is a term Bikram, founder of the Yoga College of India, used a number of times during his talk on Saturday to describe how body and mind could get along if children were really taught the basics of good physical and mental health in the first quarter of their lives. He spoke to those present not so much as if we were children, though there was a hint of that in his boisterous manner, but perhaps as if he were giving a shock-jock talk to athletes. And he said it is never too late to start, never too old, never too fat, never too sick.From Keshav Howe, nutritional food, hatha yoga instruction and muscle therapy provided by Patty Bennett, to vendor booths lining the mall featuring sacred drawings and psychic readings and other supplements for the spirit, the festivities reached a “crescendo,” as organizer, Josh Berman, put it, with a cleansing ritual performed by two orange-robed Buddhist monks chanting in and out of unison, their healing voices bathing those present with an inner light and an outer protection from all negativity.Heaven on Earth born again.George RyersonAspen


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