Giddings Humbles The Christian Lobby | newmatilda.com

No one has traded on this perception more openly than the Australian Christian Lobby. Courting Prime Ministers John Howard and Kevin Rudd, and more recently Julia Gillard (who will deliver the keynote address at their 2012 national conference). Gillard’s decision to speak to the Lobby provoked shock in some quarters, but it shouldn’t have. Gillard and Abbott both made time prior to the 2010 federal election to address the group via exclusive webcast. As did Kristina Keneally and Barry O’Farrell, John Brumby and Ted Baillieu, and Anna Bligh and Campbell Newman.

There is not one leader who has run for the office of Prime Minister or Premier since 2010 who has not addressed the ACL as part of their campaign for election. Now that is some fairly comprehensive access.

The Los Angeles river lives again

Where is the river? He shakes his head. “What river?”

I find an elderly woman with a straw hat walking her terrier and ask the same question. She looks puzzled. “What river, honey?” The river I am supposed to kayak, I reply. She looks at me compassionately, as if I have sunstroke. “I don’t think you’re in the right place.”

Pepper’s progress

What do we know about pepper? Peps up your food. Makes you sneeze. Was once a greyish powder sprinkled from a pot. Tends, these days, to be wizened black berries crushed in a grinder. Costs not much for a small jar at the supermarket.

So far, so exciting. But there is no stopping progress, and, as with olive oil, salt and other basics we once considered boring, pepper is going gourmet. This is not necessarily a bad thing because there is rather more to pepper than you might think.

Walking as Meditation: Quiet Your Mind as You Improve Your Health

One of the goals of meditating is to tame the mind’s wanderings. In today’s world there are so many distractions and so much to keep up with on a daily basis. Giving the mind time to rest is crucial for it to function optimally. Generally, the mind jumps from one subject to another, like a monkey jumping from branch to branch, losing its focus and often entering the dangerous territory of fear and negativity. Meditation brings the mind back to the here and now and to a singular, calming focus.