Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

Month: September 2010 (Page 2 of 3)

Change, the environmental crisis, and the average person

I dropped by Long’s Drugstore on Sunday – a rare event in my life – to pick up a few cartons of Epsom Salt for healing baths.

It was packed to the gills. Apparently, Sunday is the super-sales day.

In the States, Long’s – and her sister stores like Walmart, K-Mart, and CVS – offer one-stop shopping for all things toxic and plastic.

Waves of off-gassing fumes wafted through the air, emanating from the plastic products, their packaging, and the overload of people dipped in perfume and fragrance drenched personal care products.

When my long line finally inched me in front of the checkout counter, I noticed the last chance display of 4-dose packs of Alleve, Advil, Tylenol, Motrin, Pepcid AC, Benadryl, Claritin, and Alka-Seltzer Gold. At least they were packaged in paper, not plastic. Not that there are plenty of trees to spare. There’s really no excuse for unnecessary small-dose packets like this.

Why are all these really nice people buying all this really bad stuff?

The thing is all the people were really nice. The guy in front of me shared his friendly advice, “Oh yeah, you have to come on Sunday to get the sales.” The cashier could have won the award for Ms. Congeniality. In Hawai’i, “aloha spirit” prevails. But even outside of Hawai’i, most people in the world are nice.

I couldn’t help but wonder, “What are all these really nice people doing buying all this really bad stuff?” Besides trying to save money in these financially challenging times?

I couldn’t be mad at them. Like me and you, they just want to be happy and they don’t want to suffer – the prime motivator behind all our actions. And, they just think they really need this stuff.

The average person has no idea they are being poisoned

As my mind chewed away on the question at hand, two points became crystal clear to me:

1. The average person has no clue that they are being poisoned by environmental toxins. Nor do they realize they are in turn poisoning the planet and themselves by buying all this toxic, plastic, and/or chemicalized stuff.  Climate change is an abstract, faraway concept.

2. The average person doesn’t make the connection between the denatured food in their shopping cart (like packaged soups loaded with sodium and MSG) plus out-gassing poisons in the indoor and outdoor air and the need for all those headache, allergy, and stomach medications. All those pills and the “other ingredients” they contain have adverse side effects that feed into the cycle of ill health too. Goodness, even some anti-histamines get their start from oil.

It’s pretty well known that environmental toxins are one factor in the rise in allergies and chronic illness, but no one seems to be telling the masses. In case you don’t know, indoor pollution can be up to 10 times worse than outdoor pollution. In other words, being inside almost anywhere is not necessarily very healthy for you on the long run.

I use the word “average” simply to mean “typical” and “most of us.” It doesn’t imply any sense of better or worse, good or bad. A few years back, I was in exactly the same shoes as any average Joe or Jill – fairly oblivious to my personal environmental impact. I was probably more aware than many, but still far from green.

To be honest, in the face of all this “normal” toxic consumption, I felt disheartened for a moment.

You see, I rarely go to big stores so the experience can make a big impression on me.

How do we let the secret out of the bag?

I wondered,

  • How do you reach out and really touch the average person?
  • How do you let them know the environmental crisis is real?
  • Does blogging really make a difference at all? Is there a better way?
  • What’s the point of preaching to the converted anyway?
  • Are we really making a dent in the environmental crisis?
  • Even getting sick doesn’t seem to wake people up. What will?
  • How do we empower people?  Let them know what they do makes a difference?
  • In short, how can we make a real difference in this world of ours?

I left Long’s with more questions than answers. 

What do you think?  Do you have your own answers to these questions?  What gives you hope and encouragement?

In the meantime, “2010 is running neck-and-neck with 1998 as having the warmest first eight months of a year since the start of recordkeeping in 1880.” That means more Artic sea ice is melting. “…tens of thousands of walruses had flocked to shorelines because the sea ice they normally rely on this time of year was scarce.

And eminent Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh warns of an impending environmental catastophere unless we clean up the inner landscapes of our mind.

If you liked this article, please share the link with others.  Thanks so much!  Sandra

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2 life-changing lessons from Saturn

Image of Saturn from http://voyager.jpl.nasa.g...

Image via Wikipedia

When the planet Saturn returns, watch out – strong life lessons may be about to pop-up.

Called the “taskmaster planet,” Saturn returns to the degree it occupied at the time of your birth every 29 years.   During the three-year period surrounding this date, Saturn shines a light on any areas of your life that are out-of-sync. 

Challenges may suddenly become the order of the day. As daunting as it may sound, discomfort, unrest, and challenges are important wake-up calls telling you something’s amiss.

Saturn is gifting you with a wonderful chance to reshape your life in accord with your true wishes and goals. With his help, you can become stronger, wiser, and more capable. The key is to be willing to  looking at life’s struggles as lessons, learn from them, and adjust your path accordingly.

Seasoned astrologer Susan Miller explains Saturn in this way:

“Saturn is the planet of concentration, permanence, tangible rewards, tenacity, ambition, and productivity. This taskmaster planet also rules caution, delay, constriction, limitation, responsibility, rules and regulations, pain, fear, authority, discipline, control and denial.

Before you say, “Ugh!”, consider this: Without Saturn, we would see little or no progress. We live in a tangible world, and Saturn urges us to deal with reality. Without Saturn we would have no gumption, no standards, or controls, no structure – just chaos.

Saturn, the Great Teacher planet, brings maturity and teaches us the value of patience and sacrifice.”

Saturn, Uranus, and me

In my own life, unrelenting challenge has been the theme for a decade. But, I can’t blame it all on Saturn! Uranus also danced into my sun sign for 9 years.   He enjoys breaking rules, demolishing patterns and structures, and creating sudden – even drastic – change.  Gee, thanks Uranus.

It has been one heck of a time.  I’ve felt overcome by challenges, suffering, and pesky emotions.  Treading water – barely.  Gasping for breath.  Hanging on for dear life. Hardly the triumphant heroine!

But true to task, the resulting lessons – thanks to Saturn – have been profound and life-altering indeed.  Here I share just two of the most potent ones.

Potent life lessons from Saturn

1.  Frustration and anger harm only you
Imagine living in a small community, in a rural area, and foreign country.  Then having your health go bonkers.  That’s what happened to me.

Not speaking the native language, I was wholly dependent on others for assistance.  Thanks to the planetary conspiracy, miscommunication turned out to be the norm.  The fulfillment of my medical requests were frequently delayed or, even worse, obstructed.  Some of the medical mix-ups were downright bizarre.

It often proved impossible to get the simple food I needed for a digestive system in total disarray.  Our meals were prepared by others.  Each mealtime became a trigger for an emotional storm. Don’t get me wrong – the food was great, but most could not be eaten by me.  I felt driven into frustration and despair with every indigestible culinary delight.

There for a purpose, I was not about to leave.  So this drama went on day-in and day-out…for a very long time.  I was constantly churned up, frustrated, and annoyed.

One day, I was walking back to my place after another inedible meal. My mind was in a tizzy of frustration and resentment, a full dialogue of righteousness and recrimination taking place in my head.  A scene that had already taken place uncountable times.

Out of the blue,  I instantly woke up.

How can you describe the remarkable moment when you suddenly see an obvious truth? One that had been fully hidden just a second ago!

The big “ah-ha” was as simple as this:  the constant sense of frustration and the repetitive, negative thinking – mostly in my mind, occasionally emitting from the mouth – were only harmful to me. The negativity was making me constantly unhappy, complaining, and unpleasant.  No doubt it was eating away at my sensitive gut too.

I was living 24/7 with a negative person – ME!

On the spot, I decided enough was enough.  I might not be able to change the circumstances, but I could change me. I didn’t become a paragon of patience overnight, but I immediately got a good start. The change that slowly took root in my disposition became readily apparent and appreciated by all.

Ironically, as my inner landscape changed, my outer landscaped also greatly improved.  Obstacles began to diminish, clear communication ensued.  On top of feeling so much happier myself, I began to genuinely feel more empathy and understanding for my previous “foes.”   Just being more spacious seemed to magically circumvent obstacles before they grew.

It’s true – habits die hard.  I haven’t fully eliminated anger, frustration, and blame from my repertoire.  But, happily they are no longer the leading stars in my life.

“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” -Mark Twain

2.  Befriending impermanence
Have you noticed there’s almost always an automatic denial when the possibility of death touches us in some way?

In her spellbinding book, Naked in Eden, Robin Easton describes this perfectly when she says to herself, “No! Not Dad.”  Recently, actor Michael Douglas responded to his diagnosis of throat cancer in the same way, “No, not me.”

We live most of our life denying the possibility of death.  It never occurs to us that embracing impermanence could actually transform our lives.

Have you ever had a moment when you thought you might be dying? I did thanks to my planetary friends.  More than one.  Alone, in the night.

In the aftermath of those moments, I decide I needed to face up to death.  These mini-shocks made me see how deeply attached I am to this body, this identity, this life, and all the plans and ideas that pile up in my head.  Yet, I know, it’s this very attachment that brings suffering and pain.

How could I use these close encounters to remember dying and unravel my strong attachments now? How could I use this awareness to meet death with confidence, fully prepared?

It’s certain we are going to die, we just don’t know when or how. It might be much sooner than we think.

Memento mori” is a Latin phrase that Christian monks repeat to help them “remember dying.”  What benefit could there be to remembering dying? Here’s the short list.

Recalling our own mortality, wakes us up.  It helps us live fully in the present moment and appreciate this gift of life. It reminds us that there is no time to waste.  It’s an impetus to getting our priorities straight.  It prompts us to express our love right now as there may be no tomorrow.  It sparks us to drop negativity, anger, aggression,  self-recrimination and other self-limiting emotions.  Most importantly, it underscores that we are not this physical body – it’s only a temporary hotel.

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” -Teilhard de Chardin

With its tremendous transformative power, I wish I could bring impermanence to bear on each and every moment of my life!

The potential of the Saturn return

Saturn brings life lessons

Image from Wikipedia

The Saturn return occurs at the ages of 27-30, 58-60, 86-88.

Saturn doesn’t create problems, it just shines a light on them.  If you have been living your life on-target, these may be times of fruition and further clarity.  But if your life is out-of-sync, it’s likely to become obvious and uncomfortable when Saturn returns.  The issues that arise typically relate to time, structure, responsibility, power and accomplishment.

Remember, it’s a chance to take a fresh look at your life.  In these periods, take some time to examine the structures you have created to determine if they are serving you well.  If not, here’s your chance to reset your course in a more fulfilling direction.

Do you recall the Saturn returns in your life? Do you have a life lesson to share?

If you liked this article, please share it with others.  Thanks so much! Sandra

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We Are What We Think

The practice of reflection and contemplation deepens our understanding of a spiritual principle.

It allows the true meaning of a spiritual teaching to magically move from our head into our heart, and thus penetrate our entire being and way of life.

These days people are eager to receive many spiritual teachings and often zip right into meditation, skipping over the practice of reflection.  As such, it has sometimes been called “the lost zone of contemplation.”

We may have the good fortunate to receive powerful spiritual teachings.  But, what will happen if we don’t take time to contemplate them?  There’s a real danger they will easily slip through the cracks of our mind, leaving no permanent imprint whatsoever.

Contemplation is integral to understanding the real meaning of a spiritual truth, which is often multi-layered. It also helps us to bring the teachings alive in all that we do.

We are what we think

Today, I invite you to reflect upon these words from the Buddha.  You can choose a single verse or reflect upon them all.

“We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the world.
Speak or act with an impure mind,
And trouble will follow you
As the wheel follows the ox that draws the cart.

We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the world.
Speak or act with a pure mind,
And happiness will follow you
As your shadow, unshakeable.

‘Look how he abused me and beat me,
And how he threw me down and robbed me.’
Live with such thoughts and you live in hate.

Look how he abused me and beat me,
How he threw me down and robbed me.’
Abandon such thoughts, and you live in love.

In this world
Hate never yet dispelled hate
Only love dispels hate.
This is the law,
Ancient and inexhaustible.”

from The Dhammapada

[Translation by Thomas Byrom, Shambhala, Boston & London, 1993.]

Is contemplation a part of your life?  Please take a moment to share any inspiration or insights you found in these verses.

If you liked this article, please share the link.  Thanks so much! Sandra

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A Buddhist Approach to Peace and Ecology

photo: www.plumvillage.org

When an eminent Buddhist master and human rights activist like Thich Nhat Hanh warns of impending environmental catastrophe, I sit up and take notice.

Thay – as he is affectionately called – is not alone among his peers with this urgent call to action. The Dalai Lama was the first to sign A Buddhist Declaration on Climate Change.  Many other great Buddhist teachers have followed suit.

In no uncertain terms, Thay states,

“Without collective awakening the catastrophe will come,” he warns. “Civilizations have been destroyed many times and this civilization is no different. It can be destroyed.”

He believes that only an inner revolution and consequent change in our individual and collective behavior – not a technological one – will avert the potential disaster.

Inner pollution equals outer pollution

In Buddhism, the outer world is seen as a reflection of our inner world.  As long as our inner world – the mind – is polluted with turbulent emotions, our outer world will be filled with toxins too.  Our seemingly diverse emotional states can be boiled down to what is traditionally called the five poisons:

  • attachment and craving – “I want…”
  • aversion, anger, hatred – “I don’t want…”
  • jealousy and envy – “I wish I had…” or “I wish I was…”
  • pride – “I’m important, the center of the universe…”
  • ignorance – not recognizing our true nature

If we take an honest look inside, chances are we’ll find one or more of these emotions at the center stage of our life.

All our actions are driven by our thoughts and emotions, so naturally they impact our outer environment for better or worse. In addition, this constantly churning emotional fuel make us miserable, bringing a background sense of unhappiness and discontentment.  Almost like an itch, we’re never quite satisfied.

Even though we are good people at heart, most of us are plagued by emotional distress to some degree, on both gross and subtle levels.

In his recently published book, The World We Have – A Buddhist Approach to Peace and Ecology, Thay says our current environmental problems are due to tranquilizing ourselves with over-consumption:

“The situation the Earth is in today has been created by unmindful production and unmindful consumption. We consume to forget our worries and our anxieties. Tranquilizing ourselves with over-consumption is not the way.”

Thay believes that the world cannot be changed outside of ourselves. Instead, the answer is to look within and transform the fear, anger, and despair which we suppress with over-consumption.

Mindfulness is the antidote

Living consciously with mindfulness and awareness is the antidote to a world gone berserk.

Meditation is a powerful method for cultivating mindfulness, increasing awareness of self and others, and transforming difficult emotions.  The benefits of meditation are immense for both the mind and the body.

Another form of meditation is to water the seeds of joy by cultivating positive emotions as an antidote to negative ones.  For example,

Just like turning on a light in a dark room, when your mind and heart are occupied with love, there’s no space for anger and other harmful emotions.

Through looking inwardly, you discover your true self.  You come to realize that real happiness is only found within. A sense of interconnectedness and compassion naturally flows from a clearer mind and calmer heart.  Thus, the practice of mindfulness meditation leads to more responsible action for oneself and the planet.

Mindfulness doesn’t  preclude eco-activism.  It simply encourages activism born from a heart of love not one bitter with anger.  Thay cautions us to avoid separation and blame,

“The energy we need is not fear or anger, but the energy of understanding and compassion. There is no need to blame or condemn. Those who are destroying themselves, societies and the planet aren’t doing it intentionally. Their pain and loneliness are overwhelming and they want to escape. They need to be helped, not punished. Only understanding and compassion on a collective level can liberate us.”

Although Thay believes that it is possible to avert the ecological disaster that lies ahead, he accepts the possibility that our civilization may not endure.  This very act of letting go of our need to save the planet, he feels, is also an essential step towards doing so.

What do you think? Is cleaning up the inner environment of your mind just as important as taking steps to live green and reduce your oil consumption?

[The quotes in this article are from two interviews with Thich Nhat Hanh conducted by the UK Guardian newspaper.  I haven’t had a chance to read Thay’s book yet, so this article is not a review of the book, but simply reflections on points raised in the interviews.]

Related posts

If you liked this article, please share the link with others.  Thanks very much!  Sandra

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Energy Medicine: activating your “inner mom”

“Once you choose hope, anything’s possible.” ~ Christopher Reeve

Today, we’ll look at simple ways to turn on your “inner mom” to help all your organs and energy systems work in a more harmonious and coordinated way.

This is the third article in my series on Energy Medicine.  If you haven’t done so already, you might want to take a look at Part One, an overview of Energy Medicine and the invisible energies that flow throughout your body.

In Part Two we explored Energy Medicine and the Immune System – allergies, autoimmune disease, chemical sensitivity and other immune dysfunctions.  We  learned that the triple warmer meridian – an energy pathway and one arm of the immune system – can be reprogrammed with  the self-help techniques of energy medicine to help it relax, be more discriminating, and back-off when other energy systems can kick in to do the job.

This series is based on the book Energy Medicine, Balancing Your Body’s Energies for Optimal Health, Joy, and Vitality by Donna Eden. [Just follow the link to learn more about Donna Eden.]

Activating your “inner mom”

Onto easy ways to kick-start the “radiant circuits” (strange flows) – another invisible energy system and the second arm of the immune system.  These circuits mobilize your “inner mom” to support, strengthen, and encourage all your organs and energy systems to work together like a closely-knit family.

Unlike the aggressive approach of the triple warmer meridian, the radiant circuits employ a strategy of cooperation. They quickly redistribute energies where they are most needed in light of whatever the body encounters.  Unlike meridians, the radiant circuits are not limited by specific pathways.

The spleen meridian is the leader of the radiant circuits, although like the Triple Warmer it’s also a meridian.  It is sometimes referred to as ‘spleen-pancreas’ because it corresponds roughly to the pancreas function in Western medicine rather than the function of the spleen.  The spleen-pancreas meridian greatly influences all aspects of digestive function.  According to Donna Eden, it is also “involved with the thymus, lymph, nodes, tonsils, and bone marrow and oversees the blood supply, metabolism, homeostasis, production of antibodies and the distribution of nourishment throughout the body.”

When the triple warmer is at war and the immune system has gone wacky, it conscripts energy from the spleen-pancreas meridian in particular, depleting the digestive functions and all the other activities listed above.  As you can see from a glance at the list, the magnitude of potential impact is enormous. It’s no wonder that people with overactive immune systems, often have digestive issues and acquire other co-occurring conditions.

Your chemistry follows your thoughts

Here’s the key point:

  • The spleen meridian and radiant circuits are greatly impacted by your thoughts, images, and beliefs – more so than any other energy system of the body.

Therefore, to strengthen the spleen-pancreas meridian, the other radiant circuits, and all the adversely effected functions listed above you simply need to speak to them with kindness, empathy, and understanding.

It’s true!  Your body chemistry follows your thoughts. Where you mind goes, the energy flows.

This is not hocus-pocus. Scientific research has repeatedly confirmed the beneficial effects of a positive, optimistic attitude on health and healing.  It has also documented the gains made from using visualization in the healing process.  And, all the ancient wisdom traditions of the world tell us that mind has a powerful effect on the body.

Here are just three scientifically demonstrated examples of the healing power of mind from Donna Eden’s book.  You can find many more in the research literature:

  • Cancer patients with “optimistic explanatory styles have a significantly greater survival rate than others whose styles were less optimistic.”
  • There’s a a heightened immune response after watching an inspiring film as opposed to violent one.
  • Humor reduces the physical impacts of stress.

Shower your body with empathy and understanding

There are many ways to shower your body with a positive, life-affirming force. These are a few mentioned by Donna Eden.

  • self-hypnosis
  • guided imagery affirmations
  • being in nature
  • laughter
  • pleasure and delight

In addition to several easy physical exercises for supporting the radiant circuits and improving health, Donna also provides the following exercises that use visualization and the imagination:

  • Sending joy through your body
  • Sending color through your body
  • Sending forgiveness through your body
  • Sending gratitude through your body

Take a moment to consider this – How do you feel when someone gives you love and appreciation? It almost always boosts your mood and energizes your body.  This is precisely how you turn on the radiant circuits:  with love, joy, appreciation, understanding, and positivity.

Let me be clear that this is not the same as saying that “illness is all in your head.”  Rather, it’s using the mind to heal the body.  A positive attitude is not necessarily a magic panacea on its own, but it can be a powerful element in any treatment program.

Illness comes about due to a complexity of reasons.  In the same way, healing often depends on the coming together of several different causes and conditions.  For some people, healing may occur quickly.  For others, it may take much longer.  There is no “right” way to heal.  There is just “your” own way – the route you discover on your own healing journey.  Physical healing is not always the outcome or even the main point.

The Triple Warmer – Spleen Archetype

Donna Eden believes that some of us are genetically predisposed to a Triple-Warmer-Spleen imbalance.  She says that “no energy pattern can yank a person around as much as a triple warmer-spleen imbalance.”  An overactive Triple Warmer robs the spleen of all the energy it needs to do it’s job:

“This throws off the balance in every other system of your body.  It ensures metabolic, chemical, and hormonal disarray.  It particularly affects the nervous and immune systems, and it leaves you with the feeling that you body’s reactions make no sense and that you are powerless to help yourself.”

She sees a triple warmer-spleen imbalance as responsible for:

  • food-cravings
  • a yo-yo weight situation
  • obsessive eating
  • anxiety
  • foggy thinking
  • mood swings
  • premenstrual syndrome
  • allergies
  • most autoimmune diseases
  • chemical sensitivities
  • recurrent infections

Let’s face it, modern medicine is somewhat at a loss when it comes to effectively addressing allergies, autoimmune conditions, and immune deficiency – all of which are dramatically increasing as our environment becomes more polluted.

But all is not hopeless! Amidst all the confusion and suffering, the explanations provided by Donna Eden are lucid and the tools she offers effective.  However, they are just one approach to Energy Medicine – there are many others for you to explore.

Energy Medicine is not a “quick-fix.” It requires patience, diligence, the courage to take responsibility for your own health, and the guts to work with your own mind and imagination.

It’s a whole new world of possibility and healing waiting to be discovered.

I would love to hear your thoughts about Energy Medicine and your own experiences.

Please be aware that I am not a medical practitioner nor offering medical advice.  I am only sharing research and information on approaches that have worked for me.  Also, I am not receiving compensation for recommending this book.

If you liked this article, please share the link with others.  Thanks very much! Sandra

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3 Enjoyable Stress Reducers

Does life become more complex for you when September rolls around?

I know it does for me. But I plan to beat the stress before it beats me! You can too.

Here are three highly enjoyable and effective relaxation CD’s that I’ve personally used to dissolve stress. They are valuable elements in my stress first-aid kit.

1. Body Scan Meditation

The voice guiding you on this CD is Jon Kabat-Zinn, Professor Emeritus of Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He is also the founder of the medical school’s world-renowned Stress Reduction Clinic.  The clinic has helped thousands of people address the impact of stress especially in the context of illness and chronic pain.

The full CD set constitutes the core curriculum – called Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction – of the clinic. You can achieve the same benefits at home without having to travel miles to a stress reduction clinic.

“This is the first guided meditation program that people use in the Stress Reduction Clinic. The body scan is a closely guided journey through your body as you bring moment-to-moment awareness to every region in turn, starting with the toes of the left foot. It is done lying on your back if possible. Through regular practice, it can help you to enter and explore deep states of relaxation, become much more intimate and accepting of your body as it is, learn to work effectively with body sensations and feelings of discomfort and pain, and cultivate increasing powers of concentration (one-pointed attention) and mindfulness (a flexible, moment-to-moment, non-judging awareness).”

The Body Scan Meditation (45 minutes) is the first in a set of 4 CDs.  The set also includes:

  • CD 2: Mindful Yoga 1    45 minutes
  • CD 3: Sitting Meditation    45 minutes
  • CD 4: Mindful Yoga 2    45 minutes

These CD’s (also available in audio tape format) are meant to be used in conjunction with Dr. Kabat-Zinn’s book, Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain and Illness, which provides detailed instructions on all these topics. The CD’s are only available as a complete set for $30.00 and the set does not include the book.

Since I’ve only used the Body Scan Meditation, I can’t personally report on the entire series. However, I give a hearty thumbs up to the Body Scan Meditation and the book Full Catastrophe Living.

2.The Bone Dreaming Meditation

This CD features the beautiful voice of Gilles Marin, with his delightful French accent. Gilles is a long-time student of Taoist master Mantak Chia and Director of the Chi Nei Tsang Institute in Oakland, California.

The CD contains two different meditations – The Bone Dream Meditation and the Bone Breathing Meditation.  These gentle meditations originated in the Taoist monasteries of China thousands of years ago.  I’ve used the Bone Dreaming Meditation many times to help me successfully fall into a deep and replenishing sleep.  The Bone Dreaming Meditation is especially designed to:

“…induce sleep and/or a deep sense of relaxation. It is highly recommended for people with a high stress level, hypertension, breathing difficulties, joint and nerve pain, bone deterioration, low vitality, spastic muscles, etc., and anyone just wanting to be able to relax deeper and enjoy a more satisfying sleep without experiencing the side effects of drugs. This practice has a profound healing effect.”

The single CD with both meditations costs $15.

3. Sounds of Nature

If you search online for “sounds of nature” you will find a vast number of CD’s that feature a variety of nature sounds. Ocean waves, chirping frogs, tropical rainforests, thunderstorms, songbirds, Humpback whales, forest serenades – the options are almost unlimited.  They are all designed to help you relax into a more peaceful and serene state.

You can sample recordings online at Amazon or Target. You want to be sure that there are no potentially irritating sounds. For example, ocean waves may include gull sounds, which I don’t find relaxing at all.

Thunderstorms are my favorite.  Unlike the longer meditations above, the sounds of nature can be used for a short pick me up when you only have 10 or 15 minutes between activities.  It’s wonderful when we can get out into nature to experience it’s full range of benefits.  But since that’s not always possible, these CDs are a terrific alternative.

Costs varies from $6 – 15$

Chronic stress has many ill effects. I invite you to break the stress habit before it breaks you!

What’s in your stress first-aid kit this September?

[Note:  I don’t receive compensation for recommending these items.]

If you liked this article, please share the link with others.  Thanks very much! Sandra

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