Dan Schultz, creator of the Conscious Living Expo, held Saturday and Sunday at the fairgrounds, described conscious living as a theme for his life, meaning being more awake and aware:

"It's actively participating, instead of doing so passively and unconsciously. The holistic perspective dominates my life. I believe we are genetically hard-wired to be in touch with some things, like our sense of community.We are meant to have intimate, loving, close relationships, and that's not a part of our culture.We don't know our neighbors anymore.

"Part of the Conscious Living Expo is getting in touch with the community and like-minded people who are interested in this new paradigm of cooperation, instead of competition where everybody is your enemy.I used to be fiercely competitive, and most of my competitiveness came from my own insecurity. It also came from a culture where you're going to be rewarded for your performance.

"Being fully human and fully aware, in my view, means we wake up with vibrancy, vigor, and purpose in our life.And we wonder how we can make the world a better place and reduce the suffering of mankind.When that is your motivation, you can do great things without having someone else lose.We're not there yet, but we should be working towards that.

"The name of my business is Maitreya Healing Center.I just stumbled upon the word maitreya one day. It means in Sanskrit both friendship and loving kindness. Some people refer to Maitreya as the coming of the new Buddha.Some people describe Maitreya as a collective consciousness, as humanity raising its consciousness and awareness and becoming more human.I don't use any of those terms.If I had a religion, it would be kindness."

Thanks, Dan. Now on to the event. Senior Sleuth was able to interview just a few of the many participants. The Belo Monte Dam Resistance Delegation was represented.

by Nat Bennington and Sammy Gensaw:

"When dams were built they provided adequate water power, but we use a lot more power now. So is it worth it to cause the fish run to fail, or should we just get rid of the dams and figure out another way to get power without being dependent on oil?

"Currently our river is being poisoned within itself. As a result of the damming, the blue-green algae has made its way down to the mouth of the river. It sucks the oxygen out of the water so that nothing else can breathe. Its breeding grounds are on the walls of the dams. If our water's poisoned, then nothing else can survive."

Jessica Mercado is with Sustainappeal and does high-performance building consulting. She also works with the Del Norte Economic Corporation. They just submitted a grant request to Citizens for Rural Design to present a 2andfrac12; day workshop to our community. The focus was to have an inclusive business process for planning an entry way to the 101 corridor, the 199 corridor, and the airport. Also it would provide connectivity with walkable, bikeable, safe streets, attractive storefronts, art and signage.

Leah Eidam, from Auras By the Sea, photographs auras and chakras. By seeing which chakras might be closed down, the use of oils, acupuncture, or other healing can help open up the chakras. The 20 aura photographs on her wall indicated which chakras were balanced or weak in some areas. Leah also works at Five Rivers Healing, next to the Mail Room, with an acupuncturist.

I asked Leah if someone needed to strengthen her voice, for example, how would that show up in her aura. If you have an underactive throat chakra, you need to use lavender essential oil. Leah also uses Breathe essential oil because she has asthma. She uses marjoram as well just as a general balancing oil, and it's also good for the skin.

Tasha Sparks spoke for Ferment Del Norte, a fermentation club that makes a sea salt and fermented products such as kimchi, krauts, and kombuchas. Anyone can be in the club, which meets every full moon to talk about fun things to do regarding fermentation. If you're interested in the health benefits of fermented foods, as I am, you can get a lot of good information on their website.

It was a great expo, and there was much more going on, including my ping pong activity. We had some great games, and lots of people signed up to join the new ping pong program for all levels, which will take place on Thursdays starting in June at the St. Joseph's Catholic Church gym.

Senior Sleuth runs every two weeks. Reach Joan Miles at 464-2729 or at