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No Time Like the Present

Procrastinator that I am, I am trying to get back on track…no more letting life get in the way of what I love to do most…talk and teach about our luminous, multidimensional self and the ancient art of healing.

Autumn forest path leading to the top of the mountain

To begin your journey into yourself, start with small pieces of time and let it expand as it feels right. Even 30 seconds, done consistently, will bring deep benefits in terms of resilience, stress reduction and confidence. I have given examples of ways to achieve mindfulness, and the next step is yours- nothing will happen- your life remains unchanged- unless you just do it.

Remember, this moment will never come again. This moment of stillness where you meet yourself and shift your awareness is the entry into your energy field…let’s go together…

Preparation for Healing- A Receptive Practice

Stand or sit comfortably in such a way that there is no pressure or tension on or in any body part. Focus your eyes on a spot from 6-8 feet on the floor in front of you. Notice everything about this spot- the light, the texture, movement. At the same time, use your peripheral vision to take in the place around you. Relish and appreciate every part of your place.

Breathe deep into the abdomen, exhale and allow your breath to float away. Feel your neck, shoulders, belly, fingers and toes relax.

Be mindful of the sounds around you; listen and be aware. All sounds belong to you in this moment. Sounds rise and fall, come and go. You are the shore that accepts and then releases each sound just as waves wash over the sand. Sounds emerge from silence and wash back into silence.

Be mindful of the clothes that touch your skin, the air that enfolds you, the earth beneath you. All sensations belong to you at this moment.

Be mindful of the horizon around you that stretches across the earth; beyond this place, this region, this country, this planet. Sense your connection with the universe.

Breathe deep into the abdomen, exhale and allow your breath to float away. Feel your neck, shoulders, belly, fingers and toes relax.

Right here… right now…now it is time to … just…be…

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Healing Touch

Healing and Health – Begin with a Touch

What’s Happening To Me?

Gloria didn’t know what was happening to her. In all of her 85 years, she had never fallen, but she now had trouble keeping her balance, remembering things and focusing. She had no appetite and she had headaches frequently.  After a succession of tests, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor which required surgery. Her son, a dentist, felt that his mother needed some type of holistic preparation before this surgery, one that would decrease her anxiety and bolster her depleted physical condition, so he called in a healing touch practitioner to help her prepare holistically; mind, body and soul. For several days prior to the surgery, she received treatments, and the results were encouraging; her son reported she was more responsive with improved appetite and had less of a need for pain meds. As therapy continued after surgery, her improvement continued day by day and her son is convinced that healing touch made it possible for her to stay in her home.

The Holistic Approach

This is just one example of a paradigm shift that is beginning to emerge in western society that is changing the meaning of health in our civilization today.  Just as the advancement in science during the Enlightenment propelled civilization into new realms of material reality, we are now plunging into a new (for Western medicine) awareness of our energetic reality.

Moving from a cultural perspective that focused on the purely physical lack of disease, we are moving toward the concept of health as an open, balanced living system that is connected with the universe and all other life forms.  This balanced system requires more than a pill for health and wellbeing, for it understands that humans are multidimensional; with needs of mind, body and soul. Fixing one dimension does not necessarily mean a true healthy state of being. Fixing one dimension does not mean healing. So what does healing mean?

Curing vs Healing

In today’s healthcare vocabulary, “to cure” means to alleviate symptoms with the goal of completely eradicating the disease and is the purpose of allopathic, or traditional healthcare. This is a good and necessary purpose, but is only one dimension of healing and is severely limited. This limitation is particularly evident in the face of chronic disease conditions.

“To heal” means to bring about a state of wholeness, harmony and balance from within, and is open-ended, allowing more options in the exploration of mind, body and soul avenues for health and wellbeing.  As we choose to include all of these pathways to wellness, hope is restored, for all possibilities are considered. No one will ever say, “There is nothing else I can do.”

The Energy Connect

A major highway to wellness is energy. In Gloria’s case, clearing her energy pathways through a healing touch enhanced her body’s innate capacity to support her optimum condition for healing before her surgery and improved the results after her surgery. Just as we require an uninterrupted flow of pure clean water, the vital force of energy must have an unimpeded flow for health. Humans are energetic beings.

Unfortunately there are many issues that can impede its flow on all levels. In physical illness there can be blockage of arteries, veins, organ systems, brain function and movement by various causes both physical and non-physical. In mental illness there can be blockages of behavior, emotions, moods, and cognitive ability. In spirit, there can be a lack of connection to a universal force or a creator. This energy, as well as our physical energy, has to be expressed. If it remains blocked, the energy builds into high levels of internal stress which implodes, resulting in physical illness and high levels of external stress.

There are several methods that work to unblock the energy matrix at very subtle levels. Those people who are healthy may not see the effects as intensely as those who are more unbalanced, but that is not to say that this type of intervention is not moving energy within and at the molecular level.

A Healing Touch

Energy work such as touch unblocks energy beyond the intervention of a medication or a specific technology. Integral to its success is through connection to another person, a caring advocate, who holds the intent to heal. Through the conduit of the healing practitioner’s energy, the individual’s energy fields become stronger and less obstructed. This is a loving intervention that has been a part of man’s evolution since the beginning of time and now we are beginning to see the science behind it as well. Energetically, we are enjoying a harmonious revolution where trust in this creative process of healing is beginning to take its place.

Touch accelerates the healing process. Energetic touch directly addresses the repatterning of the energetic blueprint to achieve a higher level of human function.  It has positive benefits to the immune system; nurtures a fertile ground so that healing can take place and it improves the results of traditional treatments. It can alleviate psychosomatic illness, because the healing touch affects the autonomic nervous system which is at the heart of psychosomatic illness. There are measurable benefits to touch therapy, and research is ongoing through organizations such as HeartMath® and Healing Touch International® and Therapeutic Touch® along with the healthcare institutions that support these therapies.

Earth Energy

One simple, yet profound method of improving your energy flow is by standing outside, barefooted on the earth. As a life form, humans have evolved over the millennia and many scientists now believe that there is a milestone that changed the health of humans forever – wearing shoes with insulated soles. About fifty years ago, our immune system stopped functioning optimally. Since that time, chronic disease, insomnia and behavioral disorders have skyrocketed.

We think that the evolving body adapted itself to the energies and frequencies in the ground and that by being ungrounded the body malfunctions in one way or another, or in many ways. Think of a flickering light bulb that is not fully connected to its energy source.

Is there a connection? Many scientists like James Oschmann and cardiologist Stephen Sinatra believe that there is a definite connection. One theory is that the evolving human body adapted to the frequencies that run within the earth and eventually, as we separated ourselves from these frequencies, the body began to sputter and malfunction, like a flickering light bulb that is not making full connection to its source. According to ongoing research at the Earthing Institute, reconnecting to the earth brings many benefits such as; lowering anxiety, balancing the nervous system, and reducing inflammation. In order to achieve a state of wellness, we need to regain our reconnection to each other and to the earth.

Health Begins with a Touch of Compassion

How exciting it is that as a society we are beginning to embrace the new definition of health! How exciting it is to recognize ancient wisdom and partner this with new scientific discoveries! Remember when a gentle touch or hug made our pain or sadness go away? Coming from a place of deep love and compassion, this human connection was (and is) a powerful tool for healing. For the most part, this image is fading away, for we have become a society where touch is something to be avoided, not welcomed.

But we are at a turning point. With the intent of higher good, mindfulness, connection, and encouragement of spirit each one of us can connect with the healing energy of touch. Gloria found comfort and stability through consistent mindful touch that opened her energy channels and speeded her recovery; working in dynamic partnership with her allopathic treatments.

When we connect mindfully – with the intent to move forward to a state of higher good and without judgment – we open our energy matrix and that of the person we touch.  If we move forward and connect with this same intent to a group of people, the energy moves in a wider circle of healing. This resonance becomes a powerful source of change for the greater good.

When we initiate this connection of healing, we offer individuals hope for a healthy, active future and encourage each person to take responsibility for her/his own wellness choices. On a larger scale, a return to connection with our humanity and the earth offers hope in a world bombarded by environmental pollution, toxins and stress. We offer hope to a population where disconnection is rife with chronic disease and a hopelessness that takes a toll physically, emotionally and financially.

We can change the course of our personal health, the health of our community, the health of our nation and humanity’s health – it all begins with a touch.

 

References:

Anecdote re: Gloria (name is changed) from Transcript of interview on News 8 WTNH, New Haven, CT May 17, 2011

http://www.wtnh.com/dpp/news/health/the-healing-touch?ref=scroller&categoryId=10001&status=true

www.earthinginstitute.net

Review and Analysis of Holism from a Menopausal Case Study Perspective, Barbara Ford-Latty, case study for Master of Holistic Wellness, Clayton College of Natural Health, Jan. 2011.

Meditation Anyone?

The Goal – What is it

The late Swami Satchidananda, instructed those who would meditate to “see what is happening within you”.

“Become a witness … be still and watch what is happening in your mind and in your body.”

Meditation is not about shutting down, but opening up. Meditation is about observing your thoughts, not about making them stop. Meditation is indeed about listening and then letting go.

Know that ultimately, mediation is about allowing a tranquil, accepting space to open in your being that allows your body, mind and soul to become one.

Welcome Sounds

When you can view your thoughts as separate from yourself (in your sitting meditation and, ultimately, throughout your day), allow them to be what they are, then allow them to drift away. Thoughts last only seconds, anyway. Don’t fight them- it just causes more and more thoughts to pile up in your mind. If you allow them to gently come and go without recrimination, you will inevitably be less bothered by them.

Of course it is wonderful to find a quiet, contemplative space, but the reality is, even an-out-of-the-way corner can be a whirlwind of ticking clocks, purring refrigerators, noisy neighbors, and yes, honking cars. Don’t let this stop you.  One can actually achieve centering by focusing on the noise and smells that permeate the space that surrounds.

Rather than try to fight them, use these sounds to focus. The key is to hone in on the tones and vibrations — in other words, to experience listening — rather than to mentally ponder their source or meaning.

Be Present

Be consistent. If you schedule 20 minutes for reflection and/or mediation, don’t get up after 10. However, if 20 minutes prove unending and uncomfortable, by all means change your time frame to 10 minutes…then stick to it until you feel that you can flow easily into a 20 minute session.

You’re trying to teach your mind that it doesn’t always run the show. Letting it run your meditation time-clock just reinforces mind over soul.

What if I don’t “feel it”?

So what are we supposed to “feel”? Some describe it as a stillness and bliss. Others say it is the knowledge of no knowledge- of just being. Both of these descriptions assume that our inner voices are hushed.

This doesn’t happen overnight. Phil Mickelson didn’t become a top golf pro overnight. Olympic medalists and Rhodes scholars did not achieve this status overnight. So it is with meditation- the still point comes with consistent, regular practice-this is the hard part.

However, let’s keep this in perspective; even without achieving the still point of meditation, you can reap many benefits. Consider your practice a success if you notice even once that there is space between your thoughts or mantra; this is the place where pure consciousness resides, and just seeing that it’s there is sufficient.

When you relinquish control and allow the stillness to become part of you for that split-second, you will receive a centering, a grounding and a connection with yourself that you did not have before. It will be demonstrated in your actions and responses to life situations.

Give Yourself an A For Effort

If you judge yourself because your meditation isn’t going the way you had planned, you are separating yourself from the higher, spiritual self that totally accepts you as you are.

Think about the reason you want to meditate in the first place. Isn’t it to connect with that essence of self?

Among its other virtues, meditation brings ever increasing patience to the process. Soon, by “not-doing” you will allow your higher self to become present.

What’s It All About?

There is no law that one must meditate on the floor. Assume a position that is completely comfortable to you; a cushion on the floor, a chair or your own 2 feet- what works for you, works for you. Remember, the ultimate goal of a successful meditation practice is not what happens on the cushion (or chair, or your own 2 feet), but what changes we can sense and see in our lives.

The real purpose of meditation is to influence those other parts of our life, allowing — through the increasing ability to separate ourselves from our rambling thoughts — a flow of serenity and connection. This flow and serenity give us the presence to listen rather than retaliate; to step back and reflect rather than make hasty decisions.

If you notice that through mindful thought you can bring even a small moment of peace into any part of your day, consider your meditation a triumph. Trust and know that this precious moment will continue to expand as you continue to listen.

The more and more you listen, the more and more you will hear.

The more you hear, the more and more deeply you will understand.

Khyentse Ripoche

Quotes by John (Fire) Lame Deer

From Quotations Book

Death and Forgiveness

I haven’t written in a long time. My heart was heavy and I couldn’t seem to wake it up. Several events have taken place since then and because of them I becoming whole.

 …………..

Her earliest recollections were of her mother’s hands slapping, pulling, nudging; she was never in the right place and never said the right thing. She learned to project a quiet, shy, obedient self but inside she writhed in rebellion. She wanted to stamp her feet and get dirty, but she wasn’t allowed.

At the age of 2 she jumped onto the kitchen table to dig her toes into the warm, moist comfort of the African violet soil and was punished.  It didn’t matter; she had felt it and could always pull up that wonderful memory. Thus early she learned that she could recreate happiness in her mind without criticism and without surrender. But sometimes it just wasn’t enough.

It’s funny how some memories remain indelible- as clear and real as the day they happened, and how others melt away. But loving hands she must have known since she knew she was loved in spite of the slapping, pulling and nudging- sort of.

At age 5 her heart’s desire was white patent leather shoes, but she was not allowed to have them because she would get them dirty. Everything she did seemed to get her dirty, so she took refuge in books and thoughts and dreams and make believe and stopped getting dirty.

Her rebellion grew inside her until it burst forth in full blossom during her teens. She screamed, “I don’t believe in God!” and was thrown out of the house. It only lasted 1 day, but the fact that she could be discarded like an old shoe was tore her heart and was never forgotten.

But she thought she was loved- sort of.

She dated the wrong type of boy, and he was banished from the house as well, only his banishment was permanent.

Life goes on, years go by, and as she learned from the challenges that faced her, little by little she began to open her heart- just a little. She raised her own family and made sure that her children were close to their grandparents because she knew that family was an important anchor in this turbulent world and she had opened her heart-just a little. An unspoken truce was sealed.

Life goes on…

Her father died in an automobile accident at age 84 and her mother now lived alone, taking care of her 11 year old great-granddaughter. They spoke often on the phone and visited and with each visit she thought that her mother’s strength seemed to be oozing away little by little, becoming more fragile, but no one else seemed to notice this. Then her mother broke her arm, hip and had major heart problems, and life was at a crossroads. And that’s how it happened that she changed her life, brought her mother to live with her and slowly, ever so slowly her heart opened more and more and a healing began. They became BFFs, she and her mother.  They became confidants. They became co-conspirators in life. They laughed together and watched golf and took long drives. They watched for the bluebells and redbuds each spring and for the first red leaf of autumn. They poured over the bird book to identify the birds that flocked to her mother’s bird feeder. They laughed at the antics of her lovable, goofy Black Labs and commiserated over too much rain or lack thereof.

Life goes on and 6 years went by as if on a breath of air. Then one day her mother became very ill and in 2 weeks she had passed away.

……..

I am that little girl, revisiting those memories after the death of my mother.

What a blessing these last 10 years have been. What a friend and a confidant I found; what strength I was able to give — and receive. When we held each tight after her diagnosis of cancer was known and I told her she would never be alone, that we would deal with this together, she held me tight and told me she loved me. I had waited so long to hear those words; although she must have said them to me before, I can’t remember one time. Not everyone gets a second chance to mend relationships and if they do, they don’t understand the importance. They just don’t get it. The ability to accept and give unconditional love is such a precious gift.

The cancer was aggressive and she passed away the night she came home, in peace; greatly loved by me and my children and I miss her every day. 

I miss you, Mom.

What is going on with us? Do you ever feel we are spinning out of control?

When we face situations that are overwhelming, we tell ourselves; “fight it, just fight it!” Our friends and family tell us; “Fight it, just fight it!” So we prepare for battle. We learn to hate this situation because that is the only way we can pull out our aggressive, violent, forceful, belligerent, deadly energies and fight. We go to war. This happens time and time again, until we no longer have to have a reason- we are fighting all of the time spurred by deadly negative energies until this is a state of being. We live in a continual state of war.

This negative aggressive energy begins to permeate our immediate environment and then on and on, until, as a nation and a civilization, we collectively send these energies out into the universe and the earth begins to seethe with this tumult.  Tsunamis, earthquakes, drought, flood, extinction of species- the earth can no longer absorb the frenzy of man.  Don’t look to an asteroid or a black hole to destroy us; we can do this to ourselves perfectly well without any outside help, thank you very much. Cruelty to those who cannot defend themselves rampages; animals, plants, children, the elderly, the infirm- all feel the results of our societal rage. Greed, corruption, lack of societal mores and compassion are reflected in the attitude of those we elect to power. And the beat goes on.

Going down the rabbit-hole, the drain, the tubes, down the creek without a paddle; every older generation has had the same feeling about the new generation. And with every new generation, subtle generational responses make these fears closer to the truth. Closer and closer. Just as we make the choices that inform our personal lives today, we can make the choices that inform the planet’s future; for richer or poorer.

Just think….what if all the corporate CEOs ranked the wellbeing of our national economy ahead of their own? What if they were satisfied with making 10 million dollars per year rather than 500 million? How much is enough? What if the pharmaceutical companies placed the health of a nation before the profit of a company? How much is enough? What if agri-business placed the health of our farms and plants and people above profit?  What if oil companies placed the preservation of our planet ahead of  excessive capital gains? The questions can go on and on…just asking. How much is enough?

This is not to say that we cannot meet overwhelming challenges or conflict with resolve, determination and unfaltering will. This is not to say that we cannot overcome- it all depends on the source of our strength that we muster to meet the adversary. Does it come from a place of calm resolve or roiling hate?

It is common knowledge that conflict is not always detrimental to our lives. It can impel us forward to make new discoveries, new solutions, new ideas; none of which would take place if we hadn’t experienced the conflict. So, do we actually want Shangri-La? Do we want a society without challenge and problems to stimulate and energize? Probably not, but the intent behind our response is the key that can change this constant state of war which takes such an enormous toll on our earth and ourselves.

So what is going on with us? Are we facing new challenges with compassion, resonance with the earth, rock-hard strength and vision… or are we in dire straits? Our choice.

“There’s nothing new under the sun”. This goes for health
advice, too. There are so many opinions and so many pundits telling us how to
live, exercise, be healthy and lose weight, that one hardly knows who to listen
to at all. So here’s the deal: Take charge of the advice that feels right for you; listen to your own body, mind and soul.

For example, I rarely eat breakfast in the morning. Now how many times have you heard that breakfast is essential for weight loss and energy? Well, if I eat breakfast upon awakening, I am sluggish for the rest of the morning and have added those calories to all of the others I take in during the day. I just don’t react well to breakfast in the morning… BUT, I love breakfast
for lunch.

Eating lunch/breakfast (otherwise known in sophisticated circles as brunch) when I actually feel hungry energizes me, and I eat no more than if I had eaten breakfast, therefore my total calorie intake per day is lower. Every time I begin eating a regular breakfast on arising, I gain weight. So, my bottom line is: No matter what any expert says about it, and for whatever
reason, my metabolism does not react like the norm in this respect. I do not eat upon arising.

I am still attentive to the amount of fiber, veggies and fruits and carbs, I just do it on a different schedule that works for me.

What about you?