The Oregon Convention Center hall had the artificial lighting and concrete walls of a nuclear fallout shelter and not a very cozy one. It was a space used to accommodating big shows for attendees making big decisions about college, holiday gifts, or RVs, but this weekend it was exhibiting three equally grand concepts: the body, the mind, and the spirit. According to the program for the Body, Mind, and Spirit Expo, the $10 entry fee entitled entrants to “Free Aura Photos!” and the chance to go to lectures, one put on by a pet psychic called “Listen to your Animals Talking!”

When I entered the convention hall, in the first visible booth a man stood with his eyes closed and his hand over a woman’s head. According to the literature on his table he was performing Jyorei: “a five minute purification of the spirit session consisting of spiritual light transmittal… More…