Halfway into our silent seven-day mindfulness retreat my husband and I had a whopping argument. At least in my mind. One-sided fights are a challenge when you can't talk. Howard and I had been meditating for over a year when our instructor suggested we go to a retreat to deepen our practice. Howard was eager to sign up; it took me longer to agree. Was that how I wanted to spend our precious vacation time, the week of our 22nd anniversary? Really?More...
Every once in a while, without warning, my joints and muscles would get stiff and ache once in a while. When that happened, I would stumble around for a few days and then the pain would go away. But in a couple days or a week, it would return. I was totally baffled. How could a person have intermittent arthritis? No, I wasn't diagnosed. According to the Arthritis Foundation, any presumed correlation between nightshades and joint pain is unverified folk medicine; the foundation promotes pharmaceuticals instead.More...
When it comes to precipitation, Utah's trees are always living on the edge. Fifteen inches of rain is the norm. A year or two of drought makes the situation more precarious. As more Salt Lakers quit watering their lawns or switch to xeriscape in an effort to cut down on water consumption, one unintended side effect could be the loss of our beautiful trees.More...
As the reputation of the annual Burning Man festival in northwestern Nevada has expanded, the international media is now flooded once a year with imagery of its architecture, art and citizenry. The art of costuming has been brought to a pinnacle in Black Rock City, and the event has spawned its own palette of fashion that combines the outrageous with an industrial level of practicality. CATALYST spoke with seven dapper desert dwellers about their sense of style, and asked them to share with us what makes a great Burning Man outfit.More...
Ah, the lovely tomato—so beautiful in its simplicity, elegance, versatility and nutrition. This is the garden prize we wait all summer for—whether we meticulously planted, fertilized and trained our plants on cages and twine, or we carefully select each fruit from our favorite growers at the farmers market. That first vine-ripe black krim or cuor di bue (shaped like a perfect ox heart!) sprinkled with a touch of sea salt, well...it's just heaven.More...
As I write this article, I am sitting under a 300-ft.-tall canopy of old growth redwoods just off the coast of California. With more biomass per acre than anywhere else in the world, this environment is flush with fertility and almost overwhelming in its scale. How is it that this forest, and old growth systems the world over, are able to grow such massive plants, consistently, for thousands of years, without a single drop of fertilizer?More...
Attending this year's Utah chapter of the Society of Professional Journalism's banquet at Frida Bistro was as gratifying as it was inspiring. We walked away with an ever-increasing respect for our peers in the publishing world and with a boatload of awards from Division B—15 in all—for CATALYST and its writers.More...
The erratic pace of recent weeks continues, but as the days and nights of this week unfold, certain tensions settle down. Don't misunderstand; we're still in the midst of several significant transitions, and nervous systems reflect the flux. But moods are moving away from confrontation as a way of spending excess energy. The impetus for personal freedom also persists, but this week it actually becomes more refined, if only because the motivation behind that drive toward independence is more grounded than it has been in a long while.
You'll need a steady inner compass to keep you on track this week—the astral winds are strong, so strong that nervous systems are in need of extra care. Even if you like being buffeted by powerful currents or you enjoy the surprise of unforeseen detours, you'll need some sort of homing device keep you on course through the week's twists and turns. Also, moods are more than a little testy, especially today and tomorrow—actually, most of next week—as many struggle to contain anxiety about what's coming next.
It's another week of intense interactions, as diverse perspectives struggle to hold onto unique and often polarized positions. From the political to the personal to the profound, and in some cases to the stupid, conversations focus on safety and security issues, especially what can be done to create greater stability. Unfortunately the search for solid ground—ideally higher ground—collides with the very real limitations of 3-D reality, causing some to despair whether the ground will ever feel steady again. Conditions in general are in a peculiar state of disintegration. But—and this is a really important exception—the current state of deterioration is a necessary preliminary part of a vital integration process.
The need to feel absolutely free collides with an equally resolute need to be in control, and the clash of these diverse tendencies generates a volatile atmosphere. Don't be surprised if the determination to declare independence fuels more than a few breakouts or breakthroughs. And while this pursuit of happiness is certain to feel satisfying, it's likely to encounter resistance—a lot of resistance—as those left behind struggle to maintain order. From both a personal and a collective perspective, most of us are bound to experience even more upheaval (as if that's possible), which makes a commitment to peaceful living even more important, even in the midst of turmoil.
The image on the cover titled "Talk to God" is a self portrait of Weston Hall at Burning Man 2008. A year prior, after 10 years in a banking & finance career, Weston had made the move to pursue photography full time.
Too much dancing: Scientifically proven methods to feel good and get what you want.
—by Amy Brunvand
What gives life is always unique to the moment.
—by Carl Rabke
Quick news from around town.
A lotus pose for everybody: Supta ardha padmasana.
—by Charlotte Bell
Environmental news from around the state and the West.
—by Amy Brunvand
Utah trip advisor.
—by Dennis Hinkamp
Time to get down to work. Take responsibility now.
—by Suzanne Wagner
Landscaped parking strip at historic residence gets to stay.
—by Katherine Pioli