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Top Taoist stories of 2013

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The year of the Water Snake was a fascinating year. We will reserve a review of the Water Snake events in more detail for another article. This issue will focus on some of the positive news and events of 2013 as reported by your National Taoism Examiner.

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  1. Morikami Japanese Gardens offers the art of Bonsai workshop for beginners as a part of their ongoing commitment to sharing Japanese culture with the west. Bonsai is the Japanese term for “plants in a tray”; it is based on the word bon which is a tray like pot. The art is based on ‘an earlier meditation and self cultivation practice of Taoism called penzai, which means “tray scenery”.
  2. Can citrus help to lower your risk of stroke? A new report featured in “Stroke: a journal of the American Heart Association”, states that eating citrus may lower the risk of ischemic strokes (clots), especially in women. Ischemic stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is blocked.
  3. 2013 is the year of the Yin Water Snake. This year the Yang Water Dragon is transitioning to the Yin Water Snake as the cycle of change continues from Yang to Yin. The snake is also known as the minor or little dragon and has some of the same attributes of Dragon years. In general, Snake years are regarded as auspicious years and a time for great change. It is also not uncommon for natural disasters, war and financial crisis to occur during these years as well.
  4. 10 Snake Years of the modern era: a retrospective list. Snake Years often contain many major global events. It is not uncommon for war, famine, disease and natural disasters to occur during these years. Of course, these are not the only events and many good stories are reported as well, however, one cannot deny the high occurrence of catastrophes and tragedies as well.
  5. Interview with Dr. Stephen Chang: Traditional Chinese medicine is at a crossroad. What do you think of the current state of Chinese Medicine? Chinese Medicine is now at a crossroads in its existence. The key to moving on lies in the understanding of its definition and the content of “internationalization of TCM” as well as the consciousness of the Chinese people.
  6. Peru takes a major step in the GMO battle. People around the world are beginning to awaken to the reality that the biodiversity of native and natural foods are under increasing assault from “genetically modified organisms” (GMO). Many countries have seen anti GMO protests and calls for GMO labeling laws; others have seen an increase in organic food production and outright bans on GMO food production and importation.
  7. Will Mexico join the movement against GMO food? Mexico has over 59 different indigenous strains of corn, and corn is a key ingredient in many dishes; from soup, tamales, bread, and the well known tacos and tortillas. Corn is so important to the Mexican diet that an ancient Mayan text states that “man and corn are...inextricably linked –giving rise to the saying that Mexicans are 'people of corn'. (Lauren Villagran, Christan Science Monitor)”
  8. NutraSweet: introduces a new poison to the world. The last few articles the National Taoism Examiner (NTE) has focused on Monsanto's dangerous assault on the world's food supply by forcing Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) and GM food onto most of the world's dinner tables. In one form or another, unless you purchase and eat only organic food, you are probably consuming GM food. Even if you are very strict with food purchases there is still a very good chance that your clothing, furniture, toiletries etc... are made with GMO.
  9. An ancient answer to brain eating amoebas. According to WebMD, since 2001 there have been 400 reported cases worldwide, 35 of which were in the U.S.. It is important to point out that these are the reported numbers, no-one is exactly sure how many cases go unreported or are misdiagnosed. For instance, researchers are beginning to re-examine the records of people who died of meningitis to determine if the cause of death was in fact brain-eating amoebas.
  10. Royal jade cream is famous throughout history. Understanding that jade is a “living” stone—capable of absorbing the energies of the earth, emitting its power and changing to a color reflective of its wearer—the ancient Chinese had jade burial suits made specifically to encase and preserve their entire bodies upon death.

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Do you have a story, photo or video from your area that would be of interest to Taoists? Feel free to email (TJ@theQiInstitute.com) and they may be included or featured in a National Taoism Examiner article.

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