Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Spontaneous Healing of Belief: Book Review


The Spontaneous Healing of Belief: Shattering the Paradigm of False Limits. Gregg Braden. New York: Hay House, 2008. 216 pp

The Spontaneous Healing of Belief, written by Gregg Braden, seeks to shatter the false beliefs that hold us captive. Early in this book, Braden writes:

“How would our lives change…if we discovered that we’re born with the power to reverse disease? Or what if we could choose the peace in our world, the abundance in our lives, and how long we live? What if we found that the universe itself is directly affected by a power that we’ve hidden from ourselves for so long that we’ve forgotten it’s even ours?”

Citing study after mind-blowing study, Braden makes a good argument that we do, indeed, possess such abilities. But we’ve forgotten all about these godlike abilities we have because we live in a world that accepts and promotes limitations.

I know…Braden is not the first person to make such claims. But Braden goes further, surmising that we live in some kind of a “simulated reality.” In other words, our world and universe is a great big computer and we are both acting out and creating its programs which form our reality (think The Matrix). I know this sound bizarre, but Braden actually backs up his claims with convincing scientific evidence.

After establishing the existence of this simulated reality, Braden tells us how to communicate with it to alter its programs and to create so-called miracles in our lives.

The message of The Spontaneous Healing of Belief is one of power and hope for a world that seems to possess little of either. The power is in our hands to make or to break our own personal lives and the world that we live in. Let’s start using this power wisely.
.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT): A Mindfulness-Based Therapy that Just MIGHT End my Panic Attacks

I have just completed my second appointment (and experience) with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. ACT is a mindfulness-based therapy that, according to my therapist, has proven to be extremely effective at treating panic disorders and depression. In particular, ACT has shown to prevent relapse of these disorders.

What do I think of ACT so far?

I am intrigued by the process. ACT teaches you to separate your thoughts from your person. We are not our thoughts and our thoughts get us into a lot of trouble. I have long studied the Eastern practice of mindfulness, but have not been successful at practicing it on my own. If my therapist can teach me to stay in the present moment and become mindful of each present moment, I expect ACT to be successful for me.

Why? Because panic attacks are all about living in the future—dreading, anticipating the next panic attack. Once you have a panic attack in one situation or environment, you become fearful that you will have another one in that situation or environment.

And, sure enough, you do have another one in that situation or environment. But your own fearful anticipation causes you to have the next panic attack, and the next one and the next one…

It has become a vicious circle for me that I hope a mindfulness-based practice such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy will help me to break.

I’ll keep you posted.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Why your Prayers Aren’t Working

Are you frustrated that your prayers don’t seem to work? Do you ask, and ask, and ASK for something, but the Universe almost never grants your requests? Are you tired of pleading, in desperation, for a miracle to happen in some aspect of your life, only to receive…nothing?
circa 1945:  Studio portrait of a young girl holding her hands in prayer with angel wings on the back of her gown, in front of a dark background.  (Photo by Ralph Hopewell Anderson/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)


Would you be surprised if I told you that the Universe has answered your prayers every time you prayed? It’s true. You are pleading, and begging, and asking and every time you do, you are praying for your lack. You are praying for what you don’t have rather than what you want. The Universe is answering your prayers by giving you more of what you don’t have.

A Little Thing Called Faith

Faith is an important ingredient in your prayer being answered. Here’s what Jesus had to say about faith and prayer.

Mark 11:23-24

For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be though removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them and ye shall have them.

Does this sound like the prayer of someone begging and pleading for what he does not have? NO. This is the prayer of a person who knows his own power to create whatever he desires. This is the prayer of a person who demands that the mountain be removed. This is a person who has the faith that it will be removed.
This person spends no time telling God how big the mountain looks, or how he’s prayed countless times and God has done nothing to the mountain, or how it must not be God’s will to remove the mountain. He simply says, “move,” and the mountain moves.

Believing is Receiving

Before you will receive the answer to your prayer, you must believe—with absolutely no doubt—that you will receive your request. Yes, this is hard to do. But here are some tips that can help you to develop the faith necessary for you to receive the answers to your prayers.

• Never pray for something. Instead, thank the Universe (in advance) for answering your prayer. If done consistently, this will build your faith.

• Use affirmations of achieving your goal or your dream several times a day, but state them in the present tense. For example, say “I always have enough money to meet all of my bills,” not “I will have money to meet my bills.”

• Spend some time each day visualizing yourself in possession of the object of your desire. Try to visualize your desire being true for you right now. Don’t visualize your dream coming to you, visualize it already with you.

• Get emotional. Above all, feel the emotions of having your desire fulfilled. Feel the excitement, pleasure, awe, etc. of actually being in possession of your dream.
When you are able to actually feel yourself in possession of the subject of your prayer, you shall have it. Guaranteed.

By the way, this isn’t just a religious belief. Quantum Physics has proven scientifically what Jesus, Buddha, and other ancient spiritual traditions have been saying for ages:

You’ll see it when you believe it.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Belgium Brewery Makes “Full Moon” Beer

That the full moon has an effect on human behavior is beyond dispute. (Though whether this effect stems from mystical or from physiological reasons is hotly disputed). For instance, studies have shown that violent crimes increase during the full moon and that mental patients become more “excitable.” But can the full moon affect the taste of beer?
A full moon is seen behind El Zamalek fans during the Egyptian soccer cup round of 16 match against Al-Ahly in Cairo stadium, May 26, 2010. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh (EGYPT - Tags: SPORT SOCCER)


That’s what one brewery in Belgium believes.

Brewery Caulier, a small family-owned brewery in Peruwelz, is now producing special “full moon” beer. Roger Caulier, the owner of the brewery, got the idea after visiting a friend who told him that his winemaking schedule followed the lunar calendar.

Caulier decided to try his friend’s methods in his beer brewery. According to Caulier, “We made several tests and noticed that the fermentation was more vigorous, more active…the end product was completely different, stronger, with a taste lasting longer in the mouth." (Source: MSNBC)

The reason for the difference?

Brewery experts say that, “The full moon speeds up the fermentation process, shortening it to five days from seven, which adds extra punch to the beer without making it harsh.”

Although Caulier is well versed in the science behind full moon beer brewing, he does not discount the mystical or mythological aspects of the lunar cycle.

So, in the case of a hangover, simply take a sip of some of the hair of the dog…or maybe even the werewolf…that bit you!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy

I have a secret to share with you. I have a panic disorder, one that I have struggled with my entire life. Lately, for whatever reason, my panic disorder has been flaring up constantly, leaving me feeling helpless and shattered.
ROQUEREDONDE, FRANCE - AUGUST 22:  His Holiness the Dalai Lama sits on his throne during a tea ceremony in the Lerab Ling Buddhist temple on August 22, 2008 at Roqueredonde in Languedoc-Roussillon region, southern France. The Dalai Lama visited the temple to inaugurate and consecrate the temple.   (Photo by Pascal Parrot/Getty Images)


To deal with my latest attacks, I decided to try hypnotherapy because hypnotism was the one technique that I had never tried. But while calling around for a hypnotist that my health insurance would cover, I found something else—mindfulness-based cognitive therapy.

I practice mindfulness therapy…

the psychologist told me on the phone.

My ears pricked up immediately. Mindfulness therapy, as in Buddhism mindfulness?

In further explanation, the psychologist confirmed that this is, indeed, the type of therapy that he practices. I must admit that chills went down my spine at the coincidence of me—me who is fascinated by all spiritual practices—stumbling upon a therapist that specializes in mindfulness.

By the way…you probably know that I don’t believe in coincidences.

What is Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy?

It seems strange that I had never heard of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy because I have long been interested in the principles of Buddha-inspired mindfulness.

In simple terms, mindfulness is the practice of becoming aware of every moment as it arises. It is a present moment awareness that is said to be truly calming and powerful at the same time. I can see why mindfulness-based cognitive therapy could be effective at treating panic disorder. Most panic attacks are triggered by anticipatory anxiety which, by definition, comes from future-oriented, fearful thoughts. In fact, I have tried to use mindfulness on my own, with mixed results, at combating my panic attacks.

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy was developed in 1979 by Jon Kabat-Zinn, a psychologist at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. Kabat-Zinn had practiced mindfulness at a Buddhist Center and believed that it would be helpful as part of a psychotherapy practice.

He was right. Although there are few controlled studies of the effectiveness of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, the few that exist indicate that it is effective at treating depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders.

Dr. Peter Strong, a Mindfulness Psychotherapist in Boulder, Colorado explains our reactive emotions this way:

“Depression and other anxiety disorders have an internal structure in the form of habitual cognitive reactions to which we have become blindly attached through the process of identification. The negative thought arises and then we become the thought. A worry-thought arises and we become worried. Anger arises and we become angry. Fear arises and we become afraid. This process of becoming happens quite automatically and is sustained by the fact that we are unaware of the reactive process of becoming. The thought arises and literally grabs hold of us and pulls us into a predetermined state of consciousness against our will or choice.”

Practicing mindfulness literally stands between the thought and your reaction to the thought. This interrupts the automatic and mindless reaction to a negative thought and ultimately weakens the hold –in depression, anxiety, etc.—that such automatic reactivity used to have on you.

So...

My first appointment with a psychologist that practices mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is next week and I’m excited.

Do you have any experience with mindfulness or with mindfulness-based cognitive therapy that you would like to share?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

National Alliance on Mental Health Takes a Spiritual Bent—Sort of

The National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) is taking a more spiritual, holistic approach to mental health issues.
HAMBURG, GERMANY - AUGUST 03:    Freizeitsport / Fitness: Tai - Chi, Hamburg; Tai Chi Kurs an der Alster 03.08.04.  (Photo by Kati Jurischka/Bongarts/Getty Images)


As part of its “Hearts and Minds” initiative, NAMI is introducing a number of practices for mental health management and recovery that were once considered exclusively spiritual practices.

For instance, NAMI has a “mindfulness” (think Buddha) section on its Hearts and Minds website, which includes a 10-minute guided meditation along with information and instruction on such spiritual and/or holistic practices as yoga, basic meditation, Tai Chi, and guided meditation. NAMI’s “Hearts and Minds’ section also offers a holistic solution to mental health issues with instructions on using creative outlets—such as dance, writing, and painting—to improve your mental health.

And these spiritual and holistic methods are working.

According to Melodika

“Ed Knight of Colorado Springs says he uses meditation to help control hearing voices and panic attacks: ‘Without the combination of meditation and medication, I would be in and out of the hospital very frequently. I haven't had a panic attack in several years and I have ceased to hear voices.”

I think that NAMI’s new focus on combining spiritual and/or holistic practices with the traditional treatments of medication and therapy is a great first step in merging mind, body, and spirit—and one that is long overdue.

NAMI, by the way, is one of the largest mental health organizations in the United States, with over 1,100 state and local affiliates around the country.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Practicing Yoga Makes you Happier, Says Study

A new study indicates that yoga really can make you happier.
Model Released: Woman in yoga position (Photo by Markus Boesch/Getty Images)

The reason?

It raises important mood boosting chemicals in the brain, say the researchers from Boston University School of Medicine.

Over a period of several months, the researchers measured the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) levels in the brains of those who practiced yoga compared with those who simply walked for exercise. (They ran these measurements both before and after the study participant’s exercised)

GABA, by the way, is known to be an important mood chemical. Those who are depressed or who suffer from anxiety tend to have lover levels of GABA in their brains than do “happier” people.

The researchers found that those yoga practitioners who did a lot of downward facing dog poses (for an example of this pose, see the YouTube video below) boosted the GABA levels in their brains far more than the group that walked. PLUS the yoga practitioners had greater improvements in mood than did those who walked.

This study was published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.
So…if September being National Yoga Month is not enough to make you try yoga, perhaps the results of this study will inspire you to try it!

Source: My Fox La

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Witnessing your Thoughts

Image by Artem Chernyshevych

Oh, those pesky thoughts! It is estimated that the average human has 70,000 thoughts per day.

Our minds are very busy places. Little wonder, then, that most of us think that are thoughts are us. We identify so strongly with out thoughts. Just think about it…

When we think angry thoughts, our bodies feel the anger.

When we feel fearful thoughts, or bodies feel fearful.

When we think loving thoughts, are bodies feel all warm and fuzzy.

But…

We are not our thoughts!

We are the ageless, timeless, eternal spirits who use thoughts to create, but we are not our thoughts.

Becoming the Witness of your Thoughts

So…in order to free ourselves of the stranglehold that our thoughts have over our true self—the spirit, the soul, the thinker—we need to separate ourselves from our thoughts. Only then will we be able to control our thoughts and not have our thoughts control us.

It’s called becoming the Witness, and here is a meditation technique that helps you to do it:

•Go to a room where you will not be disturbed for at least 20 minutes.

•Sit down in a comfortable char. Keep your spine straight.

•Close your eyes.

•Begin breathing slowly and deeply.

•Relax your muscles and clear your mind briefly, and then…

•Let your thoughts flow freely.

Here’s a good explanation, written by Chuck Gallozzi, that explains what to do next:

“Do not analyze them [your thoughts]. Above all, don't be judgmental. Merely observe and accept. If a negative thought arises, don't say to yourself, ‘I'm too negative. I need to change.’ Just observe; don't judge. But if you do start criticizing yourself, that's okay, too. Witness your self-criticism. Step back and observe, just like you're watching someone else. In fact, that's what you are doing. You are observing someone else because the thoughts are not you. The thoughts come and go. They fade away and change. But your True Self is changeless.”

Oh, you will find being a dispassionate witness or observer of your thoughts almost impossible at first. But keep at it. Start out doing 5 to 10 minute sessions of witnessing your thoughts, and then gradually extend that time to 20 to 30 minutes.

I have been assured that, in time, your thoughts will not have the power over you that they once did. You will be freed of your thoughts. You will control your thoughts and they will no longer control you.

I have to admit that I am such a slave to my thoughts that it’s pathetic. But I’m going to start this technique of witnessing my thoughts and see what happens. Won’t you join me? Try this technique and let me know what you think.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Placebo Effect is Getting Stronger, Say Drug Developers

The placebo effect is a well-established fact of medicine. In clinical trials of drugs, manufacturers routinely test their newly developed drugs against well established drugs and against placebos (pills that have no known medicinal properties).
398861 02: Bottles of the drugs Lipitor (L) made by Warner-Lambert, and Viagra (R) made by Pfizer, are shown February 7, 2000 in New York. Pfizer Inc. is buying Warner-Lambert Co. in a deal that creates the worlds second largest pharmaceutical company. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

The placebo effect allows for the power of the patient’s own belief in bringing about his own recovery. If the patient believes that a pill will make her feel better or cure her, it frequently will do just that—regardless of whether or not that pill is actually a sugar pill with no medicinal properties.

During clinical trials, if the placebo effect is as strong (or stronger) than the drug against which it is tested, that real drug is said to have failed and the Food and Drug Administration will likely not approve that drug for sale on the American marketplace.

And that appears to be happening more and more frequently.

Why would the placebo effect be getting stronger?

One reason, according to Steve Silberman of Wired Magazine, “may be found in the drug industry’s own success in marketing its products.”

Since 1997, drug manufacturers have been able to market their products directly to consumers through television and magazine ads. These ads tell consumers how wonderful they will feel by taking that particular drug.
We know how effective advertising can be to make consumers buy products, now we know how effective it can be in increasing the placebo effect.

It also gives us another example of the power of our own minds to affect our bodies.

Friday, September 10, 2010

September is National Yoga Month

September is National Yoga Month. I have practiced yoga on and off throughout the years, and have found it to be very relaxing, both mentally and physically, and a great spiritual practice. But the meaning of yoga practice varies depending upon whom you talk to. Yoga is not always just slow movements, controlled breathing, and long poses (called asanas).
MIAMI BEACH, FL - JUNE 11:  Brittany Ganson (L), a registered yoga teacher, conducts a class June 11, 2008 in Miami Beach, Florida. As the U.S. economy continues to struggle, studies have shown that financial-related stress can lead to health issues. Some workers are turning to stress management workouts such as yoga, where Brittany Ganson says students try to find their inner peace and forget their problems as they participate in the yoga class.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Indeed, there are so many different types of yoga that you should be able to find one that fits your personality, your fitness level, and your needs. Here are just four of the many different types of yoga:

Hatha Yoga is probably the most popular type of yoga and is an excellent practice for beginners. This type of yoga stresses slow and gentle movements. There is also an emphasis on the breath during yoga practice.

Ashtanga Yoga is the polar opposite of Hatha Yoga. Called “Power yoga,” Ashtanga Yoga requires constant movement and provides an excellent cardio workout. But relaxation? Forget it.

Vinyasa Yoga is similar to Ashtanga. Vinyasa is fast paced yoga practice with a lot of different poses. But these poses are seldom held for long. Rather, each pose flows into the next, and the next, and the next…well, you get the idea.

Kripalu Yoga is a very spiritual type of hatha yoga. In Kripalu, there are a lot of breathing exercises, a lot of stretching, and a lot of gentle poses. There is also meditation and a focus on the spiritual self.

The type of yoga that I practice is Hatha Yoga. I have tried Vinyase Yoga, but it was way too hard for me. Have you tried any of these types of yoga and what did you think of them? Have you tried any other types of yoga? Will you start practicing yoga this month now that it is National Yoga Month?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Concentrating on the Breath in Meditation

Concentrating on the breath in meditation is a common strategy. The steady rhythm of your breaths flowing in and out of your body is relaxing. Every time thoughts intrude on your meditative practice, if you gently bring your attention back to your breath you can make those thoughts fade away.
Photo by: KGC16/starmaxinc.com  2010  7/23/10 Alessandra Ambrosio at a photoshoot. (St. Barts)  Photo via Newscom


Breathe in.

Breathe out.

Breathe in.

Breathe out.

I was just reading an article about meditation when I came across this piece of advice, “ I suggest using the breath as a focus. It’s like a natural door that connects ‘inside’ and ‘outside.’”
What a wonderful visualization for the breath when used as a meditation tool!

Do you concentrate on the breath during mediation, or do you use some other point of concentration?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Integrative Mind-Body Training: Shortcut to Meditative Bliss

There’s a new kid on the meditation block. It’s called Integrative Mind-Body Training (IMBT) and it is getting a lot of publicity in the wake of a recent study published online on the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
MAGELANG, JAVA, INDONESIA - JUNE 1: Buddhist monks meditate at the yard of Borobudur temple, built between 750 and 842 AD, June 1, 2007 in Magelang, Central Java province, Indonesia. Buddhists in Indonesia celebrate Vesak Day or 'the day of Buddha's birth, his enlightenment and his reaching of nirvana' today. (Photo by Dimas Ardian/Getty Images)


IMBT is based on traditional Chinese medicine. Although this meditation practice is getting a lot of press lately, the techniques was actually developed in the 1990s. A number of studies have shown that IMBT has a positive effect on cognitive function and stress reduction.

But perhaps more importantly, for a society that wants everything now, IMBT reportedly achieves these effects very quickly—after practicing this meditative practice for just 11 hours according to the most recent study. (Standard meditation, by comparison, can take years of regular practice to achieve the brain wave changes seen in a brief practice of IMBT).

University of Oregon Study

The most recent study of IMBT was conducted on 45 University of Oregon students. Half of these students did IMBT training and half of the students did relaxation training. The students’ brains were scanned before and after the training.

At the conclusion of the study, the IMBT group’s brain scans were compared against the relaxation group. The brain scans of the IMBT group had increased brain connectivity. These connections were more pronounced in an area of the brain that regulates emotion and behavior.

It took just six hours of IMBT to start this brain connectivity and this effect became very obvious after 11 hours of practice.

How does IMBT Work?

IMBT appears to combine many different meditative disciplines—mindfulness, controlled breathing, guided visualization—into one practice.

According to PsychCentral, “The technique avoids struggles to control thought, relying instead on a state of restful alertness, allowing for a high degree of body-mind awareness while receiving instructions from a coach, who provides breath-adjustment guidance and mental imagery while soothing music plays in the background.”

Further, “Thought control is achieved gradually through posture, relaxation, body-mind harmony and balanced breathing. The authors noted in the study that IBMT may be effective during short-term application because of its integrative use of these components.”

And I agree. There is something about the integrative use all of these meditative and/or spiritual components that bring results FAST. So of course, I want to try it.

There’s only one problem. Apparently, IMBT cannot be learned, or even practiced, on your own or while listening to tapes. A coach is essential for practicing IMBT, and I can’t find a coach anywhere. This technique is so new that there may not even be that many qualified coaches in the world.

But I’ll continue to look for one.

Have you any experience with practicing IMBT? Do you know where I can find an IMBT coach?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Acupuncture, Placebo Works the Same on Knee Arthritis, says Study

A new study indicates that those who think that they received acupuncture for knee osteoarthritis (but didn’t) and those that actually did receive acupuncture showed identical symptom relief.
CHONGQING, CHINA - JANUARY 9: (CHINA OUT) Chinese man Wei Shengchu displays acupuncture needles in his forehead during a self-acupuncture performance on January 9, 2007 in Chongqing Municipality, China. Wei inserted 1,200 needles into his head skin during the show. According to local media, the sixty-year-old acupuncturist is a cosmetic doctor from Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, who has the Guinness World Record for self-acupuncturing at 1,790 needles in his face. (Photo by China Photos/Getty Images)

The study, which will be published in the September issue of Arthritis Care and Research, is the latest in a number of studies that have documented the value of the “placebo effect” in managing pain and in healing varied illnesses and disease.

The placebo effect was originally tested, albeit unknowingly, by an army nurse during World War II. According to Wired:

“When the morphine supply ran low, the nurse assured a wounded soldier that he was getting a shot of potent painkiller, though her syringe contained only salt water. Amazingly, the bogus injection relieved the soldier’s agony and prevented the onset of shock.”

This was the first reported case of the power of the mind—the power of belief –to heal the body. But there would be more. Today, all pharmaceutical drugs are tested against the placebo effect to see how effective a medication, minus belief, actually is.

There’s only one problem with this “scientific” test…you cannot really separate one’s belief from one’s activity—any activity. Time and again, the placebo effect has shown that those who believe that a medication is healing them or relieving their symptoms actually experience such an effect.

This most recent study that shows acupuncture and placebo having the same positive results on those who suffer from knee osteoarthritis is just more evidence in what we already now. But it goes a step farther.

According to WebMD, “The goal of the study was to evaluate the effects of the treatments and the impact of interactions between the health care provider and the patient. Acupuncturists were trained to interact with patients using one of two communication styles. One style, called ‘high expectation’ had the health care provider telling patients he or she has ‘had a lot of success treating knee pain’ therefore increasing a patient’s expectation. The second style, called ‘neutral,’ had providers telling patients the treatments ‘may or may not work for you.’”

And which approach do you think worked better in reducing the patient’s pain? That’s right…there was a “small but significant effect on pain and satisfaction with treatment” when the acupuncturist communicated a positive expectation to the patient.

In my opinion, the acupuncturists’ positive attitude added just a bit more “oomph” to the placebo effect. The provider’s positive attitude helped the patient to believe in the treatment which, in turn, caused their healing. In a healing or, really, any other endeavor, it all boils down to what you believe.

Speaking of which…what do you believe about the power of belief to put you over (or under) in life?

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Divine Matrix: Book Review


The Divine Matrix: Bridging Time, Space, Miracles, and Belief

The Divine Matrix: Bridging Space, Miracles, and Belief. Gregg Braden. New York: Hay House, 2007. 223 pp.


Gregg Braden’s, The Divine Matrix, proposes that we are more than mere specks in a universe that doesn’t care about us, a universe that we have no control over. Rather, he proposes that we are the creators of our world and of what we experience in it. We live in an interactive universe, Braden says, one in which our participation is mandatory. Whatever we have faith in, will come to pass. The Divine Matrix guarantees it.

Yes, organized religions have been touting the importance of faith in unseen forces (or God) forever, so Braden’s claim is not new. Neither is his theory of an interactive universe particularly new. (Everyone from Deepak Chopra to Dr. Wayne W. Dyer have quoted the same studies in quantum physics that seem to indicate that particles and waves (scientific gobeldy goo that I don’t understand very well) requires a conscious observer for it to “collapse” into our reality—the reality that we expect to see.

But Braden, a former senior computer systems designer, just does it better.

Throughout The Divine Matrix, Braden lists study after study from quantum physics (and explains them in a way that a scientifically-challenged person, such as myself, can understand) that builds inexorably toward the conclusion that we are all responsible for the reality that we observe.

And there is no escape. We are constantly creating whether we believe in his theory or not. We are constantly creating whether we realize it or not. We are constantly creating whether we want to or not.

As Braden says in the introduction, The Divine Matrix “provides the container, as well as a bridge and a mirror, for everything that happens between the world within us and the one outside of our bodies. The fact that this field exists in everything from the smallest particles of the quantum atom to distant galaxies whose light is just now reaching our eyes, and in everything between, changes what we’ve believe about our role in creation.”

But Braden just doesn’t tell us how the Divine Matrix works; he also tells us how we can change the reality that we’ve unconsciously created for ourselves.

In reading The Divine Matrix, my view of my role in creation certainly shifted. For the first time in my life, I felt empowered. I was not just plopped down on earth as an innocent victim of life. I, puny little me, could make a difference in my life and the lives of everyone and everything in the universe. (Everything that happens in the divine matrix affects everyone in the matrix, even if they are on the other side of the world!)

The Divine Matrix is well-written and is wonderfully inspirational. I rank it #1 on my list of the best spiritual/inspirational books on the market.

And I’ve read a lot of spiritual/inspirational books.

By the way…Braden does not discount the existence of a higher power. On the contrary, it is the energy of a higher power, Braden says, that is the creative power of the Divine Matrix.

Buy or borrow a copy of The Divine Matrix, read it, and let me know what you think!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday the 13th – Not Always a “Bad Luck” Day


Image by Lars Sundstrom

Happy Friday the 13th!

Do you believer that Friday the 13th is an unlucky day? Do you approach every Friday the 13th with foreboding? Would you say that you have an intense fear of Friday the 13th?

If so, you’re not alone. According to Dr. Donald Dossey, approximately 21 million Americans have an intense fear, called paraskevidekatriaphobia, of Friday the 13th. (That translates into roughly 8 percent of Americans.)

But it might surprise you to know that Friday the 13th hasn’t always been a bad luck day. In fact, there’s a certain spiritual significance to the number 13 that has been tragically lost in all of the Black Friday superstition and hysteria surrounding this day.

How Friday the 13th got such a bad rap is explained in this Squidoo Lens. Even more interesting is the author’s run-down of the spiritual significance of the number 13 through many different cultures and spiritual traditions. It’s a fascinating read.

For those of you who suffer from paraskevidekatriaphobia, this article may cure your condition.

Read it and…

GOOD LUCK!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Practice Mindfulness for a Healthier, Happier YOU





Present-moment awareness, also called mindfulness, is at the root of the teachings of Buddhism, Taoism and—most recently—spiritual gurus like Eckhart Tolle.


But what is mindfulness and why is it so important?

Putting your attention on the present moment calms a mind awash in a flood of thoughts, constant thoughts. Most of these thoughts are negative, Monday morning quarterbacking thoughts. “I shouldn’t have done this. I should have done that. Oh why did I do that?”

These thoughts create an enormous amount of stress which, as we now know, negatively affects our bodies. But practicing mindfulness reduces the health effects of a rambling, anxiety-producing mind.

According to Psychology Today, “Mindfulness reduces stress, boosts immune functioning, reduces chronic pain, lowers blood pressure and helps patients cope with cancer. By alleviating stress, spending a few minutes a day actively focusing on living in the moment reduces the risks of heart disease. Mindfulness by even slow the progress of HIV.”

Such powerful effects from the simple practice of mindfulness are not unusual, they are the norm. I guess Buddha and ancient Chinese Taoist Philosopher Lao Tzu knew what they were talking about!

Beginning Steps in Mindfulness

You can begin your practice of living in the present moment, or mindfulness, with a simple step.

Several times a day, bring your total awareness to the present moment. If you are washing dishes, bring your entire attention to the act of washing dishes. If you are writing a short story, bring your entire attention to the act of writing your story. If you are playing with your children, bring your total attention to your children.

During these brief, beginning practices of mindfulness, your mind will wander. Trust me. When your mind wanders just gently, without condemnation, bring your mind back to the present moment. Stay in the present moment as long as possible each session and then gradually extend those moments of mindfulness.

When you practice mindfulness, notice how peaceful you become. You become peaceful because most of your thoughts are anxious and pointless “what ifs” about the future or anxious and equally pointless guilt or regret about the past.

Only one event at a time is possible in the present moment. Whatever happens in the present moment, you can deal with it.

And then you go onto the next present moment.

Try mindfulness and see how calm, happy, and healthy you will become. Let me know of your results with living in the present moment.

In upcoming posts, I will give you some specific strategies for practicing that state of mindfulness of which Buddha and the Tao Te Ching speaks.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Biocentrism: Book Review

Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe

Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe Robert Lanaz, MD with Bob Berman Dallas, TX: Benbella Books, 2009. 214 pp.

The trees and the snow evaporate when we’re sleeping. The kitchen disappears when we’re in the bathroom. When you turn from on room to the next, when you no longer hear the sounds of the dishwasher, the ticking clock, the smell of a chicken roasting…they all disappear into nothingness. *

No, this is not an episode of Twilight Zone or Night Gallery. It is not the plot of a science fiction movie. It is not even the ramblings of a mad--and very delusional--mental patient. Rather, this is a theory of the universe developed by renowned scientist Robert Lanza, MD.

Biocentrism, co-written with respected astronomer Bob Berman, details a new theory of the universe. The theory of Biocentrism is that we created the universe, and everything in it, with our minds, or consciousness. Without consciousness, nothing can exist. As if this isn’t mind-bending enough, Lanza adds that nothing exists without an observer to witness it. (In other words, if you aren’t looking at that beautiful magenta sunset, it doesn’t exist).

Yes, this sounds absolutely wacky, but Lanza offers numerous quantum physics and anatomy studies that make Biocentrism sound--gulp--logical.

He starts off mildly enough with a lesson in anatomy, explaining a scientific fact that all of us learned in school but that most of us have forgotten--that the brain literally creates our reality. For instance, the image of a house, or anything that we see, is but an interpretation of the image that our brains create. In this case, we are seeing a brain-manufactured image, not a real, physical object.

From there, Lanza wallops the reader with numerous studies from quantum physics that show the undeniable affect that observation has on matter. (Two of the most famous of these studies is the two-slit experiment and the experiment that showed twin photons changing spin directions simultaneously).

In chapter after chapter, each chapter building upon the previous one, Lanza refutes both traditional scientific thought--the “big bang” didn’t really happen--and ancient spiritual belief systems by citing numerous studies from quantum physics. Indeed, these studies do seem to lead to an inescapable conclusion--our so-called reality is a creation of our consciousness.

For me the evidence for Biocentrism that Lanza offers is compelling if a bit unsettling. (It’s a scary thing when your entire belief system is ripped apart). To make matters worse, Lanza does little to ease my anxiety. He offers no opinion on a supreme authority (such as God) or an explanation as to why we created this universe, this earth, and our own individual and collective realities. Although he repeats the well-established scientific fact that “energy never dies, it just changes form,” thereby ensuring all of us eternal life--in some form--he does not suggest any sort of purpose for our eternal consciousness.

But, of course, such an explanation falls within the mystical realm and, as such, is outside of Lanza’s area of expertise. His analysis of the scientific evidence seems solid enough, however, for me to take the possibility of Biocentrism seriously.

*From BemBella’s press release for the book, Biocentrism

Ann Rice Quits Christianity

NEW YORK - APRIL 25:  Writer Anne Rice attends the opening night of 'Lestat' at The Palace Theatre April 25, 2006 in New York City.  (Photo by Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images)

Anne Rice, a writer primarily known for her vampire novels, has quit Christianity. The 68-year-old famous author aroused controversy when she posted this message on Facebook:


"Today I quit being a Christian. I'm out. I remain committed to Christ as always but not to being 'Christian' or to being part of Christianity. It's simply impossible for me to 'belong' to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious and deservedly infamous group. For 10 years, I've tried. I've failed. I'm an outsider. My conscience will allow nothing else.... In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life. In the name of Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen."

I don’t know what particular event spurred Rice to such a public rejection of Christianity, but I also have to say “AMEN” to the points that she so eloquently enumerated. How much hatred is spread in the name of Christianity!

Although Jesus told us to love everybody and to judge nobody, what do many Christians, and Christian organizations, do?

• We Christians condemn homosexuals because their sexual orientation is a sin. Therefore, they should not be allowed to work in occupations dealing with our children. They should not speak of their twisted, abnormal, and sinful sexual orientation. And they certainly should never be allowed to marry someone of the same sex!

• We Christians treat women as second class citizens in most endeavors (this despite the fact that Jesus did not discriminate against women) and the Catholic Church will not allow women to become priests.

• We Christians of a certain sect (Catholics) will not allow a woman to control her reproductive system with artificial birth control.

• We Christians somehow think that being a Democrat is a huge sin and that we must stamp out this evil political party before they infect our society with their liberal (read sinful) views.

…And I could go on and on.

How many wars have been fought in the name of Christianity? How much hate has been fostered in the name of Christianity? How many people have we hurt in the name of Christianity?

I was raised a Christian and, like Rice, I remain committed to Christ. But I gave up traditional Christianity a long time ago.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Using Bibliomancy to Receive Divine Guidance

Image by ostillac callisto
If you need divine guidance--qucikly--try Bibliomancy. It works every time.


Bibliomancy is the practice of seeking divine guidance by selecting random passages from a book. It works best when a spiritual book--such as the Holy Bible--is used, but any book will do in a pinch.

This form of spiritual guidance, or divination, has been around for thousands of years, and it really works. Sometimes the random passages that you choose when practicing Bibliomancy are so appropriate for your question that it really spooky. Other times, you may have to meditate over the answer that you receive. Either way, Bibliomancy is a great way to receive spiritual insight into a matter.


Practicing Bibliomancy

Practicing this ancient form of spiritual guidance is quite simple.

- Choose a book that seems to call to you. This can be any book but, as I’ve already said, spiritual books may more clearly speak to your problem.

- Sit down with the book in your lap.

- Close your eyes and think about your problem or question for a few minutes.

- With your eyes still closed, take a deep breath and open the book.

- Flip through the pages until you feel the urge to stop on a particular page.

- With your eyes still closed, run your finger down the page that you have randomly selected.

- When you feel ready, immediately stop your finger from sliding anywhere else on the page. (When the spirit wants you to stop at a particular passage, you may feel a slight stickiness at that point on the page.)

- Open your eyes and read the sentence and the paragraph where your finger is pointing.

- This will be your answer. .

The more that you practice Bibliomancy, the more skilled you will become at finding, and interpreting, the answers to your problems or questions. Have fun with it, but treat it as the divine spiritual tool that it is.

Monday, August 2, 2010

"Zip Up" Technique for Empaths



If you are an empath, as I am, it is important to guard your aura from unwanted intrusion from others emotions. Although everyone is susceptible to “picking up” the emotions of others, empaths are particularly susceptible to it and can become drained and sickly because of it.


To make matters worse, many empaths cannot protect themselves from soaking up the emotions of others because it happens subconsciously and they think that the emotions are their own.

Although a little sensitivity is good--and being an empath is a great gift--picking up everyone’s emotions, without any control, is not good. You need a way to close of your aura to all but the person or persons that you want to help with your empathic gift.

Donna Eden’s “Zip Up” technique is one such method that you can do anywhere and anytime to protect your aura from the energy fields of others. It is a method that has worked for me. Watch this video of Donna Eden demonstrating her “Zip Up” technique, try it, and let me know what you think!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Emotional Healing Properties of Rose Quartz




The healing properties of rose quartz lie in its nickname--the “love stone.” Because rose quartz addresses love, which is the most powerful energy, it has the capacity to heal anything. But don’t expect rose quartz to promote healing all by itself. As with everything else, your belief in its healing power will make it work for you.


What is Rose Quartz?

Rose quartz is a pink stone that opens the heart chakra. It promotes all forms of love, including the most elusive kind of love--self-love (how difficult it is for us to love ourselves). The power of rose quartz brings love into every situation. As such, it is very emotionally soothing.

Emotional Healing Properties of Rose Quartz

Rose quartz has many emotional healing properties. It fosters:

- Forgiveness

- Kindness

- Gentleness

- Tolerance

- Peace

Rose quartz helps to remove:

- Anger

- Fears

- Resentments

- Guilt

Rose quartz also raises your self-esteem, balances your emotions, and helps you to release any old emotional traumas.

Using Rose Quartz for Emotional Healing

If you need some emotional healing, rose quartz can help. Simply carry a rose quartz with you. Whenever you feel any emotional upset, hold the stone in your hand. Feel it’s cool, soothing power. Imagine that it’s pulsating in your hand. Imagine this until you actually feel the pulsating power of this stone.

Think of whatever is causing you emotional pain. Mentally send the pulsating rose quarts out to soothe this problem. Imagine the source of your pain as being surrounded by a pink bubble of soothing light. Feel your emotional upset be transformed into pure love.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Once Connected, Always Connected Proven Scientifically



The more that science, particularly Quantum Physics, investigates life, matter, and our place in the universe, the more it begins to sound--gulp!!!--right down mystical.


Chief among these mystical findings is proof that we are all connected, forever and always. But these paradigm shattering, mind bending findings simply confirm what religious and spiritual traditions have been telling us from the dawn of civilization.

We are not individuals but part of the whole. (And when I say part of the whole, I mean part of every person, part of every animal, part of tree, etc.)

Experiment in Quantum Physics

I’ll spare you all of the scientific details--besides, I don’t really understand scientific language myself--so I’ll cut to the chase.

In 1997, the University of Geneva in Switzerland launched an experiment with mind-boggling implications. The scientists split a photon in half, creating twins. Then they shot the photon off in separate directions. Eventually, 14 miles separated the twin photons.

During this trip in opposite directions, whenever these twin photons needed to choose one course over another, they both chose the same course--every time. They acted as if they were still connected, even though 14 miles separated them.

Nothing in traditional scientific thought accounts for these results. We live in a mechanized world, and universe, where nothing--according to scientific thought--is connected to anything else. Yet, here were photons (the building blocks of matter) that were instantly responding to each other as if they were still connected.

Once Joined, Always Joined 


In his book, The Divine Matric, Gregg Braden says that, before the “big bang,” the universe was nothing more than a small ball that was roughly the size of a green pea. Because there was no space within this ball, all of the photons and the particles were tightly compressed--connected, in other words.

Then the “big bang” blew it all apart, creating an ever-expanding, gigantic universe that is--nevertheless--still a part of us. Once joined, always joined…remember?

What does this Mean--for YOU?

It means that a change in one incident or person changes the whole fabric of our existence. It means that, truly, when you hurt another person or thing you are hurting yourself. It means that you are a part of all that is and all that every will be.

But the most exciting thing, for me, is this--

Whatever you want to achiever in life is within your grasp. You are already a part of it and it is a part of you. All you have to do is reach out for it and believe that it is already yours. Yes, it’s true. Wealth, health, and happiness is already yours. All you have to do is take it.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Love: The Ultimate Power



In her book, The Greatest Manifestation Principle in the World, Carnelian Sage says this about love:


“Love is the catalyst by which all good things happen. The effortless way to achieve your heart’s desire is to let go of your attachment to results, and focus on love instead. Bring the power of love to your pursuits and to all the people, relationships, resources and events associated with your pursuits. The outcome you get may be different from what you had in mind, but it will be infinitely better than that which you desire.”

Why is love so powerful? Quite simply, love is the highest vibration possible. As such, love is highly creative and magnetic. When you feel love, you attract abundance into your life--effortlessly.

The saying “do what you love and the money will follow” applies here. If you truly want to attract abundance into your life, start bringing love into all of your endeavors. Don’t think of your boring job as a means to your weakly paycheck. Think of it as a labor of love. Don’t think of caring for your semi-invalid mother as a thankless chore. Think of it as a labor of love. Don’t think of tithing to your church as a money wasting--but required--part of being a Christian. Think of it as a gift of love.

Start bringing love into all of your endeavors and watch the abundance start flowing into your life.

Image of love heart by leovdworp

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Miracles are Natural—and YOU Create Them

Image by Marcos Santos

Most of us think of miracles as something that God give us..

- That if we’re REAL good, God will give us something good


- That if we just pray hard enough, and bug him enough, he will give us the subject of our prayers

- That if we just submit to his will, he will give us our dreams.

Well, that’s not exactly the way it works. God (or the Universe, or “the Force”) is not outside of you. It is inside of you. It is a part of you. As such you create—or co-create—the miracles in your life. If you give up the awesome power that you have as the co-creator of your miracles, you will have very few miracles in your life. Sorry :(

This idea that God is outside of us—“up there,” standing in judgment of us, deciding who gets the candy and who gets the coal—was invented by humans who created God by human standards. In our human experience, a leader metes out rewards and punishments. Therefore, God (the ultimate leader) must rule by the same standards.

But God is inside of us. We are divinity and co-rulers of the natural world.

Remember…when the disciples asked Jesus where God’s kingdom was, Jesus said, “The Kingdom of God is within you.” (KJV Luke 17:21)

Jesus also said:

“I shall give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (KJV Matt. 16:18-19)

It is time that we all recognize how powerful we really are. We are divinity. We are co-creators. We are miracle workers.

We, and our heavenly father, are ONE.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Attitude of Gratitude

Gratitude is a very important aspect of manifesting our desires, an aspect that is neglected by most of us. That’s unfortunate, because maintaining a never ending attitude of gratitude will ensure that a never ending supply of abundance will pour into your life.


All spiritual traditions speak of the power of gratitude to transform our lives.

The Holy Bible (King James Version)

- Colossians 4:2 -- Continue steadfastly in prayer, watching therein with thanksgiving.

- I Thesallonians 5:18 -- In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus toward you.

Buddha

- Good men and bad men differ radically. Bad men never appreciate kindness shown them, but wise men appreciate and are grateful. Wise men try to express their appreciation and gratitude by some return of kindness, not only to their benefactor, but to everyone else."

- Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful".

Zen Buddhism

- Heaven in the ordinary, on the screen, in gratefulness.

Why Gratitude?

It’s important to be grateful in everything because gratitude works by the principle of “energy flows where attention goes.” If you are not grateful for what you have right now--today--and are always looking for more, your attention will be focused on what you lack. This inevitably causes lack to manifest in your life rather than the abundance that you desire.

Be grateful in everything that you have, no matter how small, and watch the abundance flow into your life.

If you are wondering how to practice gratitude, follow this advice from the Dalai Lama:

“Everyday, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can".

"Our enemies provide us with a precious opportunity to practice patience and love. We should have gratitude toward them".

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Two Secrets to Manifesting that The Secret Failed to Mention



The Secret movie was a phenomenal hit that inspired people from coast to coast. It dramatized the true power of our minds, beliefs, and emotions. It told us that if we held tight to our goals, that if we visualized achieving those goals, and that if we got emotional about our goals, we could have whatever we wanted.


Like almost everyone else who watched The Secret, I was inspired by the movie. But I quickly realized that this inspirational movie left out two major secrets that are crucial to success. These two missing secrets are undoubtedly responsible for the millions of people who tried the methods given them by The Secret, yet failed to manifest their desires.

Here are the two missing secrets of The Secret.

1. Take Action Toward your Dreams. You can dream, visualize, get emotional, and have unshakeable faith all you want, bur if you take no concrete action toward your dreams, you will likely fail to achieve any of them. The spirit works by presenting you with opportunities. It opens the door, but it is up to you to walk through the door.

In other words, if you want to find the perfect job, you need to start sending out resumes. If you want to be a bestselling author, you need to start writing your book. If you want to meet the perfect romantic partner, you need to go to the places where your perfect romantic partner would hang out.

2. Think of Others. If your goals are selfish ones, designed only for your benefit, you will likely fail. If you really want to achieve your dreams, you must pursue those dreams that will also benefit others. This is not as hard as it sounds because almost everything we do affects other people on some level. For instance:

- If you want to manifest a new car, visualize your excitement at owning this new car, yes, but also visualize the number of people who have jobs in the manufacturing plant because of your purchase.

- If you want to manifest a new house, visualize yourself in your comfortable new home and visualize how your purchase added to the real estate agent’s wealth. .

- If you want…

…well, you get the idea. Always think of how achieving your dream can also benefit others.

Have you had any positive results by using the principles given in The Secret? Do you think that these two missing secrets would have helped you to achieve your dream?

Monday, July 19, 2010

“So Hum” Meditation


The most difficult aspect of meditation is stifling the thoughts that run rampant through your mind. It is not until you try to meditate, in fact, that you realize just how noisy your mind is.

But there are many ways to still those pesky thoughts. My favorite such method is one that I learned from a book by Deepak Chopra. It’s called the “So Hum” mediation. Follow these instructions and you will soon be meditating like a pro, your mind relatively silent.

Step 1: Go to a quiet place where you will not be disturbed for 20 minutes.

Step 2: Close the curtains or the blinds.

Step 3: Sit in a comfortable chair. Make sure that your spine is straight and your feet are flat on the floor.

Step 4: Close your eyes and begin breathing slowly and deeply.

Step 5: Concentrate on each breath as you inhale and exhale. With each exhale, feel the tension leave your body. Relax your muscles.

Step 6: As you slowly inhale, say the word “So” silently to yourself.

Step 7: As you exhale, say the word “Hum” silently to yourself.

Step 8: Continue breathing like this for 20 minutes, saying “So,” on the inhale and “Hum” on the exhale.

Step 9: If your thoughts wander (and they will) gently bring your attention back to your breath and to your repetition of “So” and then “Hum.”

The “So Hum” meditation calms your soul and quiets your mind. Try it and start meditating--for real.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Secret of Attracting Money











Do you want to know what the secret of attracting money really is? Okay, here goes--

GIVE IT AWAY.

That’s right. Give it away. According to Jesus, Buddha, Joe Vitale, Dr. Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra and many others, giving your money away is the only way to attract money back to yourself.

Although this secret of attracting money is foreign to most of us who have been raised to believe that the only way to make money is to work hard, conserve your cash outflow, deposit a certain percentage of your income to a savings account, diversify your investment portfolio, etc., etc., etc., giving your money away is the real secret of attracting wealth.

AND it’s far easier than working hard, using coupons for every purchase you make, and watching the stock market. But there are a few rules for giving your money away in order to make money.

How to Give Money to Receive Money

The secret to giving money so that you will attract money is quite simple. Follow these tips and watch the money start rolling in!

1. Give ten percent. Give at least 10 percent of your income to those people, places, and organizations that give you spiritual or inspirational nourishment. This concept, of course, is the familiar Biblical injunction of tithing. But you don’t have to put all--or even any--of this money into the offering plate at church each week.

In his eBook, Attract Money Now, Joe Vitale explains that your source of inspiration “can come from anywhere. Perhaps it’s a waitress working two jobs to go back to school or maybe it’s a performer with awe- inspiriting talent. It could be the cab driver offering an uplifting story, or the woman at church who always thinks of others. It can be anybody.”

2. Give generously. Any amount of money that you give away will come back to you multiplied many times over--guaranteed. But if you give just a little amount when you could have given much more, your return will be much less as well. So give generously.

3. Do not expect anything back. When you give your money to those people, places, and organizations that inspire you, do not expect anything in return--especially from the recipient(s) of your gift. Your only motive in giving should be the pure joy of helping others.

4. Give Joyously. Just giving money--by rote--is not enough to attract money back to you. Rather, your attitude is all important here. Put emotion into your giving. Allow yourself to feel the pinpricks of excitement as you imagine your gift helping that person or organization. Get excited by your ability to help a fellow spirit that is, like you, having a human experience.

The Bible Says it Best

The Holy Bible says it best (as usual). Here are two of my favorite bible verses that refer to the spiritual law whereby you may attract money by giving money.

Luke 6:38 (King James Version) - Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

Malachi 3:10 (King James Version) - Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

Good luck and let me know about your experiences with this secret of attracting money.

Image by sanja gjenero

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Being an Empath

Image by magstefan



An empath is a person who actually feels the emotions and/or the physical pains of others. This is not a case of being sensitive to other people's feelings, mind you, but actually experiencing these feelings as your own.

And being an empath can be quite overwhelming, especially if you don't realize that you are an empath. Such was the case with me, until quite recently.

All of my life, I've been labeled as being "overly sensitive." My mother used to taunt me with the accusation that I wear my heart on my sleeve. I have always been fairly moody and my moods change depending upon the moods of those around me. In many ways, my entire personality is based upon the moods, reactions, and opinions of others.

Perhaps not surprisingly, I have suffered from panic attacks all of my life, panic attacks that are (no doubt) caused by my absorbing the sometimes frenetic and anxious energy of others.

Anyway...

I came across an interested video clip describing some of the traits of an empath along with some suggestions on how to minimize absorbing other people's energy. Here it is:

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Spiritual or Religious?

Are you spiritual or are you religious? That’s the question asked in a survey conducted by Life Way Research, and the answer of a majority of the respondents is compelling.


Spirituality, it seems, no longer refers to those who espouse New Age beliefs, burn incense, and participate in fire-walking ceremonies. Rather, the study found that those who regularly attend traditional religious ceremonies are just as likely to describe themselves as spiritual as those who follow no traditional religious doctrines.

How can this be?

In his article In the Courier-Journal, reporter Peter Smith quotes this portion of the report by Life Way: :

“Apparently, ‘religious' has fallen out of favor…[t]hose who trust Christ as Savior were particularly likely to describe themselves as more spiritual than religious. This is no longer a term that means ‘I don't have any particular beliefs but believe in spirituality in general.'”

Rejecting that “Religious” Word

I must admit that my own personal beliefs may mirror the results of this study somewhat. I have never described myself as religious, even when I attended regular Christian church services when I was a child. To be religious, to me, means following a very conservative set of rules that robs one of spiritual joy. But I do believe in Jesus even though--yes--I much prefer the word “spiritual” to describe myself.

But…

I also have no particular religious affiliation today. Rather, my own beliefs are a mixture of many different spiritual belief systems. (My home alter, for instance, displays a figurine of Jesus Christ and Buddh, I read the Tao Te Ching, and I meditate to the musky scent of incense).

So…am I spiritual or am I religious?

Are you?

Image by Bill Alexander

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Technique for Opening the Third Eye Chakra



There are many techniques for opening the Third Eye, and I’ve just come across a particularly interesting one.


Silver Hammer Tapping Method

As posted in “Growing Self Esteem

In this technique you break your inhalations into sixteen sniffs and with each sniff visualize a silver hammer tapping the centre of your forehead. But make sure that you keep the sniff so small that you are able to make sixteen sniff to complete one inhalation but exhale in one breath. Again repeat the process, you will soon feel your third eye chakra opening up slowly.

***

I have not tried this method yet, but I plan to do so soon. (The only problem may be correctly pacing my “sniffs” to achieve sixteen of them.)

Why Open the Third Eye

The third eye, located in the center of the forehead, is what I refer to as “the spiritual zone.” Through the third eye, you can achieve enlightenment, glimpse eternity, and develop your intuitive faculties. Although we all have a third eye, few of us have a wide-open one. That’s why it’s so important to practice certain techniques designed to open the third eye. As soon as I get a chance to practice the above technique, I will update you with the results.

In the meantime…

Try the silver hammer tapping method for yourself and let me know how it goes.

Image by vassiliki koutsothanasi

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Spiritual Properties of Candles




I love watching the flickering light of a candle in the dark. It’s so beautiful and mesmerizing. I always light candles when I pray or meditate as I visualize my desire as part of the flame, lighting a path through the darkness of conscious knowledge to my ultimate destination.


And I’m not alone. Candles have been used in religious, pagan, and nonsectarian ceremonies for thousands of years. They have been used in magic to summon the forces of both good and evil. They have brought comfort to untold millions.

Here are some quotes about candles that bring me much comfort, as well.

- A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle. - James Keller

- How far that little candle throws its beams! So shines a good dead in a naughty world - William Shakespeare

- It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness. - Eleanor Roosevelt

- Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life. - Buddha

- Man loves company - even if it is only that of a small burning candle. - Georg C. Lichtenberg

- Religion is a candle inside a multicolored lantern. Everyone looks through a particular color, but the candle is always there. - Mohammed Naguib

- Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared. - Buddha

- You don't have to be a wreck. You don't have to be sick. One's aim in life should be to die in good health. Just like a candle that burns out. - Jeanne Moreau

Quotes taken from Brainy Quote
Image of Candle by Steph Payne 



-

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Suble Voice of the Spirit


When I was a kid, I thought that the voice of God would come to me clearly and give me guidance. It wasn't until many years later that I realized that the voice of the spirit is very subtle. In fact, you may not hear it at all unless you prime yourself to hear it.

What does this "priming" process entail?

It means being open to any sign that the Universe may be speaking to you. True, constantly seeing hidden signs may pass for mental illness (so try to be quiet about your "sign seeing") but looking for such signs is the only way that you will start seeing the signs.

God (or the Spirit) speaks to us in coincidences, synchronicities. It speaks to us in the unexpected meetings, a song playing on the radio, a report on the nightly news. Although these seem like total accidents, they are not. Nothing is a coincidence in our inteconnected world (and spirits).

Sometimes, however, the Spirit's voice is louder than at other times.

A few months ago, I found out that I had to move from my apartment and I was concerned about whether I would be able to keep my two dogs. So I asked the Spirit about it. A couple of days later, I received this message from a fellow contributor on Associated Content:

Hi Christine, I just read someplace that you have two lab puppies....I have one old lab (she's 11 1/2) and at times I think there are two of her! I am a lab lover, have been for many years! I wish you a ton of kisses and fun raising two of them!!!

Notice, in particular, the last sentence: "I wish you a ton of kisses and fun raising two of them."  This was the first time that I had received a message from this contributor and the message from Spirit could not have been clearer!!!