Body Mind Spirit Expo (BMSE) was held for the first time at the Santa Clara Convention Center, 5001 Great America Pkwy, in Santa Clara, California. I volunteered for a few hours at one of the booths of a friend of mine and I had marvelous conversations with the people who attended. I thought the attendance was somewhat low, perhaps due to this being the first time this facility was used. I appreciated that the entry fee was priced affordably, $5 daily, or $10 for the weekend.
The Body Mind Spirit Expo was started in Ashland, Oregon, in 1986, and the company now produces events in over 25 states. The Expos have always maintained an equal emphasis on natural health, personal growth, and metaphysics. Steven Strickland who operates the parent company of BMSE, Middle Kingdom Productions, strives to maintain a positive reputation for the holistic community.
I did not find much actual religion at the fair which is not as interesting for an Interfaith journalist. There were booths like the Indian Vedic Palm & Psychic, Lali S. Kakar; and Vedic Healer Madhavi Rathod, that probably helped draw several Indians of the Hindu faith to the event. Two New Thought organizations had tables. One was the Urantia Fellowship with volunteers who enjoyed discussing spiritual questions. The conversations were good and they also provided the revealed information given in their publication, The Urantia Book, which is new and intriguing. I saw one of their volunteers offer to come over and read the book (she owned one already) with a disabled woman at her home.
The other New Thought group called Seicho-No-Ie (which means the home of Infinite Life, Wisdom and Abundance) was founded in 1930 in Japan. Their teachings profess that “each of us can reach spiritual fulfillment when we come to realize the God consciousness within us,” and they concede on their web site that the message of true divinity within “is not new.” This group offers another local source for learning the practice of meditation to attain God consciousness. The method is called “Shinsokan,” available at their Truth of Life Centers listed here: http://www.snitruth.org/teachings.html.
BMSE also featured clairvoyants, Akashic Readings, injury massage workers, essential oils for therapy, acupuncturists and more. Gatherings such as these invite skeptics who would likely be quick to discredit them. Are there charlatans here? I wondered that myself. I would suppose there are undoubtedly some, although the company strives to maintain a high quality control of its name. In these cases, you must always rely on your built-in radar detection to find what feels authentic and relevant for you.
I have an interest in drumming (Native American) so I stopped by Visionhawk Music where I met Linda Angel. She is co-owner of a business that makes Moyo Drums and Dhavani Drums for meditation, sound healing, or just to play for relaxation (web site at http://visionhawkmusic.com/). She knew the Native American flute player who accompanies me sometimes on my poetry readings. Her husband, a flute player also including Native American flutes, set out to build drums that use the modal scales of the flutes he plays. Their promo says these steel tongue drums sound like wind chimes, but that does not come close to describing the deep sound and wonderful effects. As she advertises, no talent or musical ability is required. Anyone can play these instruments.
One of the health providers I had the pleasure to meet was The Chiropractic Way of Sunnyvale, headed by Dr. Meir Tako, D.C. http://www.chiropracticway.com/ He incorporates Kinesiology, Functional Neurology, Muscle Testing, and Nutrition into his treatment approach. “Over the years,” he writes, “I have observed chiropractic adjustments alone are no longer sufficient to treat certain illnesses/chronic pain.” He is able to diagnose conditions in the body with the Muscle Testing procedure and recommend appropriate healing approaches.
There are many sincere seekers for health, wellness, and wisdom wandering the aisles here at BMSE and I had many good encounters with the visitors I met. If you have a spirit of adventure, I recommend you go to one of the Expos next time they are in your area. The Body Mind Spirit Expo presents in several cities around the country. Just to name a few places, they will soon be in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Austin, Texas in July; and Raleigh, N. Carolina in August. Check the schedule for more info at: http://www.bmse.net/bmseweb/