Tuesday, September 29, 2009
VISION: I recently had my eyes checked and was reporting problems with both my distance and my reading vision. Fearing the worst...old lady bifocals. And given my history with headaches and migraines, I feared that the constant adjusting for seeing through that middle range, and the adjusting between, would trigger more headaches. Interestingly enough, my vision is 20/15 with 20/20 considered "perfect" vision, 20/15 is BETTER than perfect vision. I asked how this could be since my vision feels like it is deteriorating. He said that the best vision recorded is somewhere around 20/8 and that my vision MAY have been better than 20/15 and I'm noticing the loss. That's so weird. I asked for and got some glasses and sunglasses for when I drive on trips or am on vacation. They help me see things further away, and the regular glasses help me when I drive at night, or on rainy nights. Sharpens things up. But there is almost no correction in them. And I went to the dollar store and bought several pairs of "cheaters" with 1x magnification. It really helps mostly when I read at night or try to read a menu in a dimly lit restaurant. But it seems so strange to still have perfect vision yet feel like I don't see very well. The brain, and perception through it, is SO variable. I wonder if my version of blue looks the same as your version of blue...how would we ever know? Other than we've agreed that for the most part, what we see, we have labeled blue. What if yours or mine looks red? Color blindness exists, of course, but I'm talking about the variation in perception that we have that we can't really seem to measure between people. My vision of psychic things seems to be a bit more than average too.
MASCARA: And finally, mascara. As I was putting mine on today, I thought..."I like this mascara best of all the ones I've tried in my life so far so I could put that in my blog"...as a product review. It is Loreal Double Extend. It is a two-step application process...first step is some sort of white primer, followed by the black stuff. On the ads they call the mascara "tubes" that extend the length of the eyelash, and it sort of does. Mostly, what I really like is that it does not smear and it comes off with warm water.
I must have sweaty eyeballs or something because I swear, every mascara under the sun (waterproof, smudge proof, whatever proof) smudges and gives me raccoon eyes during the course of a day. I HATE that. And the double-trouble-never-come-off-until-you-die brands are, well, hard to get off when you WANT it to come off. I have not gone swimming in this so I don't know how it holds up in cold water, and I don't cry much so I can't really say how it does with tears, but to wear, it does not SMUDGE or SMEAR. And I have a habit of sleeping in make-up (hence the healthier mineral variety), and it doesn't smudge after I've slept in it either. Then when I get in the shower, I close my eyes and put my face in the water and GENTLY rub the eyelashes, and the stuff slides off leaving nothing under my eyes to remove later.
A couple of application pointers: do one eye completely at a time. First apply the white junk, then while that is still soft, apply the black junk, and then move to the other eye. And don't put on multiple layers. Just do it once. Let me know if you like it too.
and never doubt the impact that your words and predictions have on children
Monday, September 28, 2009
I mean, what if I look like a gargoyle? Would that make you more likely to ask me for advice and trust that it was sound? I doubt it. Knowing what I look like should not even be an issue on the table.
My credentials (which OF COURSE I COULD lie about if I was that kind of person, which I'm not, so I'm not lying, but you don't know that, so I'm not sure how it will help), are that I have a Bachelor's degree in Anthropology, Sociology and Psychology, and a master's degree in Social Work. I am an ordained minister, and a Reiki Master Teacher (which just means, the highest level in Reiki). I've worked in a variety of community-based social work positions, for a hospital and a specialty clinic and have had my own private counseling/energy healing practice for over three years. I'm fairly psychic and definitely strongly intuitive. Did that help? I'm a Taurus, how 'bout that?
If you have a question that you would prefer to remain anonymous about, you can post an anonymous comment...since I screen the comments first, you could tell me in that comment that you don't want it printed with your name and I can simply retype the question as "a reader asked". You can friend me on FaceBook under my alias of Willow Brooke and send me a private message there (even though on my FaceBook page I said you have to ask it out in the open, and I prefer it that way...SO many people have the same issues and will learn from each other).
And know what else? Keep in mind that this advice is FREE...worth every penny you paid for it. If I ever give advice that is crap-nasty and is counter-intuitive to what makes sense to you, DON'T TAKE IT. It's really very simple. Sometimes I can just act as a sounding board to help you recognize your own inner wisdom (which is where all answers lie anyway). I'm not going to diagnose mental illness (although I am qualified to do so). If I think you need more assistance than I can give you, I will say so. "First Do No Harm", right? Seems really really simple.
OK, back to my housework list...I am making progress but I'm not having fun doing it. Maybe I should wear a funny hat?
We saw the movie FAME yesterday. It was fun. Good music, good dancing, good singing, pretty much same story as the old one, good cast. Nothing to swoon over, but was entertaining.
In my "old days" I would make a long list of stuff for the week, by day. And whatever I didn't finish on one day, got added to the monster list for the next day (sort of like a punishment for not achieving my too-large goals)...until by the end of the week I was defeated. Now, whatever doesn't get done, are the only things on the list for the next day. When those are done, I can do some others. Then I can just bump everything over a day into the next week. Who cares right? Some stuff HAS to be done on a certain day, but most things do not. The sun still rises.
I've tried the organization books and file systems etc, and they mostly make me feel more like a failure for not getting it all done. Truth is, what needs adjusting is my expectations and my estimations of what can happen in any given 24 hour period. Cuz stuff that isn't on the list, happens. Big deal...roll with it.
I used to have a system for cleaning by room and rotating through it so I did it every week. Well, that's sort of stupid...for me. I always keep clutter picked up and stuff is where it is supposed to be. But as far as cleaning? I do maybe one really deep clean a year and I have to pretty much be in the cleaning mood to tackle it. Now I'm learning that if the toilet is the only thing that looks dirty...I don't have to clean the whole bathroom (which I used to think I did), I just clean the thing that is getting my attention. Big was of dust bunny in the corner? A Kleen-x scoops that up just fine until I'm ready to clean more.
I've been slogging and dragging through the book I reviewed part of earlier "The highly sensitive person..." I seem to drag through self help books and non-fiction, and sit glued to my chair for hours on fiction. That's just the way it seems to be with me. So I try to alternate, something drier that I still want to read, followed by a fun fiction. I love books. I love reading.
I'm realizing what a total time-eater FaceBook is. I get lost in that world and the time just flies. It's fun, but it wastes too much time if you aren't careful. I got rid of my MySpace page...I never went there, and it wasn't fun. Facebook started out AMAZINGLY addictive to me, but is fizzling. The same people post the same types of tripe over and over and over (no doubt, myself included). I like seeing people's photos...those are fun. And mostly I'm talking about my Facebook page that is under my REAL name. The one that Willow keeps doesn't have very many friends, and not a lot going on, and so far, since it is new, it has been fun to see what others are posting there.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Back on topic Willow...tangent is thy name!
I'm sitting here on a Sunday morning with a cup of tea thinking...I hate commitment, what have I gotten myself into? At the end of August, I made the decision to close my private counseling practice. I was not happy sharing office space with others (what hermit does?), the economy in our small rural town has really taken some major hits so I wasn't making any money, and I was thinking...OK...what NOW Willow? What ARE you going to do with yourself? And I had a few actual days of boredom. I NEVER get bored...even when I'm sitting around doing nothing. But I felt bored and suddenly naked and unfulfilled.
All my insecurities about hours worked and money in the bank being the sum total of a person's value as a human reared their ugly heads. In my inner core, I know this is bull-pucky, but it came up and slapped me around for a little bit before I got the upper hand. I know I won't starve or end up on the street. My husband is still willing to pull all the weight in the work arena like he always has, and I'm still willing to pull all the weight on the home front.
So I volunteered to help a friend in her local business to get her caught up and there is much to do. I decided after seeing Julie and Julia to start a blog and there is a big learning curve (for me) on that. Then I happened across a link that led me to apply for an online writing position, and they accepted me. And they have TONS of training materials I need to familiarize myself with. I'll be writing under my real name there and that feels strange because being wide open on the net feels like a vulnerable position. Don't worry...there will be cross over...I'll post a lot of what I write THERE, in HERE.
All of the sudden I feel like "how am I gonna get all this done?". Well, we've all been there, and many of us LIVE there, and many more have bitten off way more than they can ever chew and it IS impossible to get it all done when you have chosen too much.
I'm a freakishly organized person...some would say OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)...and I recently heard a good spin on that...that those with OCD spell it CDO...because the letters need to go in alphabetical order! So really, I needed to STOP spinning, and begin to organize my not-that-hard life. A simple sheet of paper with the days of the week on it to start. Then I begin to fill in my usual things on my usual days and group stuff together and decide that I will only offer to help in my friend's business one day a week rather than little bits here and there, that I will group errands, laundry and housework on a single day (and do only that which needs to be done, and rotate through the other things as they come), and decide which days of the week I want to research and write articles, and schedule in down time. Empaths MUST have downtime...total silence, lack of busy...stillness. EVERYONE would do well to schedule downtime, meditation time, time to read, reflect, sit with the sun on their face...being. And of course the other thing I realize is the power of working smarter rather than harder, so what could be simpler than sharing the short articles I write THERE as blog posts HERE? I know...my genious boggles the mind doesn't it?
I made it through college and grad school as a single parent of a special needs kid, this next new phase is a cakewalk. Nothing compares to that...and that was INSANE and nobody should ever have to do it. But life throws us stuff and we adapt. If you are not an organized person, find some books on organization (but don't forget to actually READ them), or better yet, buddy up to a friend like me who's really really organized and have them help you map out a plan. I've actually been asked to do that for people. Following it long-term is not usually going to happen for people without this gene, but I need THEM for their creative visionary gifts. It is good to have balance. We need each other and what each person brings to the table as a unique individual.
Through the organizational process, I also learn to take a moment and think about my own personal limits...not what everybody else is doing, can do, thinks they should do, thinks I should do, but my OWN intuition about my personal limits at any given time. And I'm hearing my inner voice say..."OK, for the moment, your plate is as full as you better make it. "Get organized, and master these new things before you do more". Sounds reasonable, don't you think? What are YOUR organizational methods? What works for you?
Saturday, September 26, 2009
It was a little over 90 yesterday and this morning it is 39. And all the windows are open. Brrrr! Close the damn windows Willow, you say? Well, I COULD, but we don't' have air conditioning, so we play that game of freeze your butt in the morning, watch the temp, when the inside temp and outside temp begin to match, close the windows and curtains to save the cool for later. Yup. So I'm in a winter robe and typing with frozen fingers. I need to go make some coffee or tea or something to hold. At this rate the leaves will be turning colors in a most excellent way any time now.
My FAVORITE season is spring. I was born in the spring...which makes me realize that I forgot to answer a reader's question about my "sign"...I'm a Taurus. ANYHOO...I love the sun and growth that comes after a long, wet, cold winter. But fall is a pretty close second. Nice relief from the heat, change is what is in the air. Can you feel it? Even without a calender, our bodies would predict seasonal change with much greater accuracy. You know it...if you live somewhere with distinct seasons (and I bet people who live in temperate climates learn to tell the signs of their own environment just as well), that you wake up one morning and you KNOW, the feel and the smell and the sense is there...the season has made a shift.
One of these days I'll have to tackle a post about the quantum physics idea that there is no such thing as time and space, that those are human constructs. We made up the idea that 24 hours is "a day" based on light cycles (which change constantly), we decided when the "first day" of each season is and how many days equals a year. None of that is real. It just makes us feel more secure to think we're in charge, defining and boxing in concepts. There, how's that for a start?
I guess since I'm UP, I may as well get that coffee and take a shower and face the day. I have a couple of relatives in town, so will visit with them a bit...that's all I intend to plan at this point. let the "day" and the "season" unfold as it will. Here I am.
Friday, September 25, 2009
It's highly possible that eventually our financial situation will force me into a "real job" again, but for now, I'm pretending I'm retired. Doesn't that sound more positive than "refuses to get a job"? I do EVERYTHING on the home front as long as I know how and can lift it. I do all the yard care, take out the garbage, all the grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, errands, phone calls, correspondence, laundry...all the stuff needed to make a home run smoothly so that my husband can focus on what I call "making bobble money for me". I know most working women do their own job PLUS all of that stuff I just mentioned. And remember I said it was crazy making. The myth is, it is not possible to have it all and do it all. We die way too young that way, from illness brought on by poor eating, substance overuse, stress, and unhappiness. What's the frickin' point of THAT?
I loved that this morning I was on my porch with my older neighbor who knocked on my door to give me something. I was in a robe, she was in her nightshirt. I totally dig that! If I'm lucky, I'm dressed/bathed and have a couple of basic chores done by noon, despite the fact that I often get up at 5 a.m. to go to the gym. I'm a putterer. I love silence and solitude and making my home space as comfortable as it can be. I know this isn't the life for everyone, but it sure makes me happy! And for real? What would the working world have to PAY somebody like us "domestics"?
Thursday, September 24, 2009
A: WOW! This is an amazing question...thank you SO much for asking it. As it happens, I am one of these deviant folk and I ask myself this question a lot.
Since my first training is in the mental health field, you're right that even the pros would look with suspicion upon us solitary people. On the other hand, by the strictest letter of diagnosis for mental health disorders some of the markers of mental illness or mental health issues have more to do with CHANGE. Have you ALWAYS been this way? Early traumas or chemical imbalances can occur at various times in our lives, and well, maturity can change our social habits some too. Can you FUNCTION in the real world to the extent that you desire? If you must have a job, can you do it without too much discomfort? Are you HAPPY with things as they are or do you wish you were different? In the relationships that you CHOOSE to have, do they work for you? The signal that it has become a "problem" is when it no longer works in your work, home, relationship arenas.
Now on a spiritual level, often times the mystic, the sensitive is more solitary. Empaths are more solitary. And for whatever reason, nobody really makes fun of the mystic hermit, or the monk or the nun that chooses a cloistered, solitary life. An Anchor or Anchoress in the Catholic church history was someone who chose or was chosen to pretty much be bricked in forever. They had a housekeeper and perhaps a pet, a window that looked into the church to partake of those services and perhaps a window onto the grounds or a window where people could come to ask guidance. Other than that, they were blocked off from the rest of the world as special ones. A ceremony much like a funeral was conducted when they went into this type of seclusion, it was FOREVER. Actually, that doesn't sound too bad to me!
I'm solitary as well. More so all the time. I've changed my friends. The friends I have now, are either similar to me, or are very respectful of my style. My husband is quiet, and able to entertain himself and not very interested in outside socialization either so we're a good fit that way. My friends, which I wouldn't really characterize as "close", because I can honestly, often take or leave people, see me sparingly and for short visits...over a cup of tea or a walk. We don't chat endlessly on the phone. I use caller ID...and don't answer my phone a good deal of the time...and yet, as you can tell, I have words, I have thoughts, I have opinions, I appear chatty, right? I just find the energy of most people to be overwhelming, and tedious and I'm not interested in trivial banter about carpools and how busy they are and how they must say yes to everything and how they must fill every waking moment with words words words!
Perhaps that is abnormal. Since I am like you, of course I would choose to put myself in a positive spin. I wonder about and ponder the same question you asked. When I look through the cultural lens, I am abnormal. When I go deep within and ask that question, the still small voice in me says "you were designed to be unique, and you are perfect just as you are".
The world needs contemplatives, mystics and thinkers. It needs people to hold healing space and prayerful space and to keep a few little spots that are in silence.
To determine if you should "do" anything about it, listen to that still small voice. Reflect if you are retreating from the world because it has wounded you, and if so, heal that wound. If you are less engaged that everybody else, does this make YOU sad or does it bother THEM? There is a difference. You can find dear friends that allow for your style, and love you and enjoy you when you feel like being with them. Dogs are like the rest of the world, cats are like the solitary soul...not really anti-social, just choosy and don't require that much interaction.
Why would society consider it deviant? In the strictest sense, deviant is not necessarily negative although we use it that way. Do you deviate from the "norm", perhaps yes. We live in a silly place where diversity is not honored, where people want everyone to be the same..."like them". We fear that which we do not understand and push against it. And the field of psychology didn't help that much, I'm afraid.
Does that make sense? Feel free to comment or ask more. What a wonderful question.
So if you bump into a repeat article, know I'm not plagiarizing...I'm just appearing as my alter ego under a different name. Gee, you'll discover the "true identity" of Willow. Well, you already know my true "identity" because through my writing, you know me. A name is just that a name. On the web, it is also hopefully a precaution and a layer or boundary. As an empath, I need as much of that as I can get. I'm not trying to deceive...just trying to be wise and take care of me.
Plus, I think I'm MORE honest with a pseudonym because I'm not thinking "Oh what if my mother reads this!?". I am a very "alternative gal" for my family and I keep much of it private, in part to avoid argument and judgement (mostly that) and in part to respect the values and beliefs of others. I've got a long line of ministers and religion and scientists in my family tree. I could be the branch of the "willow" they would like to prune at times!
I'm not sure if anybody is even reading this...hello o o o o. Nope...nuthin. This is a journey in patience for me too. How long will it take? God give me patience...NOW! I COULD stack the deck by inviting everyone I know to read my blog, but part of the journey I entered into, just like Julia (well, I guess she told her fam and friends), was to put it "out there" and see what happens. It could be a metaphor for life. We don't always know where a path will lead, but feel inspired to step onto it and see where it goes. Jump...and the net will appear. I'm typically not very good at that...OK, I'll admit it...I SUCK at it. But it is a goal, and I may as well start somewhere.
I saw this YouTube clip on Facebook yesterday and think it is FAB...all about famous failures. Hey that could be ME...
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
This book came about, I believe as a research project. The author, through chat rooms and word of mouth, found parents of special needs kids willing to participate in extensive surveys and interviews about what life was like for them raising a special needs child. I was one of those participating parents. I was in grad school at the time, and I recall spending hours late at night answering Lori's questions by email. And little known factoid, it was from my responses that the title came about. She had a completely different title picked out, but then saw a response where I said something like "nobody really understands what this is like for me, they try, but they don't live in my skin".
The book is set up like a Q:A: interview and various parents have contributed their voices based on the disabilities of their children. What struck me when I read it, was that sometimes, I could not pick out my voice from theirs. Even if the disabilities are different, often the experiences are the same. As a parent, I liked it because it helped me not feel so alone. As a professional I liked it because it helped other professionals get a birds eye glimpse into the true feelings that parents of kiddos with special needs have about professionals, and it can be an real eye opener for friends and family members into how alone and unsupported parents often feel; abandoned or ostracized or blamed by their very own loved ones.
So if you can FIND the book anywhere...and maybe some university libraries can located it through inter library loan, I think it would be worth your time. I don't remember for sure, but Lori may have been associated with Portland State University in Oregon during the time of the writing, so that could be a good place to start looking. Cuz I don't care how good a book is...I'm not paying $999.99!! I keep thinking that MUST be a misprint!
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
I move ever closer to more and more natural products for cleaning, and self care. One of my recent trends is toward mineral make-up. But not all of them are the same. What have you found that you like?
The first ones on the market came from Sheer Coverage and Bare Essentuals, which both have had extensive infomercials. I debated both of these. They were both quite spendy according to my budget...you had all different sorts of products within their line they were sure you could not do without, and then there are the brushes and the extras.
I finally decided to try Bare Escentuals. The reason? Sheer Coverage had an auto-ship clause in their deal. I'm not sure if they still do, but at the time I researched it, they "kindly for your convenience" would automatically ship you a monthly supply of your usual make-up. Sort of like a book club. Now you could contact them each month and ask them not to, or tell them what you would like instead, but it still put in that thing you have to act on and remember bit that will always prove to make them lots of money. That's not my gig. For starters, I rarely wear make-up. I'm home a lot and my husband doesn't seem to notice or care if I have make up on or not. And I'm one of those people working on the idea that I don't have to look a certain way to have value in the world. That if I go to the store looking like crap (whoever's definition of crap that happens to be), and it bothers somebody, that's really their problem isn't it? But I've always sort of liked playing in make-up. So that's what lead me to go with Bare Escentuals.
I had the good fortune of a sister who had started using it, and she sent me a base color that didn't work for her. So I tried it and it didn't work for me either, but it was close. So it let me know that I needed a little lighter. The next shade worked great. She also had the little DVD about application she sent me and I took notes on the product line, and sent away for a catalog. Then I made a list of what I wanted, then from that list made a list of the bare minimum to get started, and from that, made a list of what I could afford. They offer free shipping if your order $75 or more, so I tried to make each order that much...and it took time. I had a plan! I don't just have that type of money laying around.
What do I like and what do I not like about Bare Escentuals?
* I WISH they gave out samples, and in my opinion they should. Not just sell smaller kits, but give some samples. Avon does it...why shouldn't they? They make a fortune off of it, so samples will not kill them.
*The stuff is too expensive. I mean, it's ground rock for Pete's honkin' sake!
* I love the way it goes on, and how natural it looks, I love that it is natural and won't harm my skin, and I love the way my skin feels and responds to it. I can see my skin actually improve when I use it. I'm not one who often takes make-up off at night (I just heard a gasp out there)...yup...sometimes I just go to bed. And this stuff is OK to have on your skin.
*I like the variety of products.
*I DON'T like that they are not clear in their advertising. They lead you to believe that ALL of their products are all natural. This is not true. Only those products that are called Bare Minerals are all natural. I don't like that the web site does not have ingredient lists. You can email them and ask for a list about items you are looking at. Avoid the ones that contain junk...parabens etc. What's the point in paying high dollars for stuff that isn't all natural...you can get that junk at the dime store (as if anything costs a dime anymore).
So read labels!
The new knock-offs at the drug store are just that. You are unlikely to find ones that are all natural mineral and nothing else. Avoid parabens and talc and other things you can't pronounce.
I've got a huge collection of the Bare Escentuals now, and it might last me forever. However, I will keep my eyes peeled for other brands and try them out. We have a store in town that carries some of the MyChelle Dermaceutical line and they have some new mineral make-up out. I haven't tried them, but what I have seen is that they come in a stick...I don't like that. You can find MyChelle's extensive natural product line at www.mychelle.com Another store in town carries Herbs of Grace all natural mineral make-up. It is a home-based operation and their prices are very competitive. I'm slow-to-adapt to change so I haven't purchased any of this yet, but I probably will. It's just I'm used to the exact shade I use and the subtle differences bug me. You can see Herbs of Grace at www.herbsofgrace.com
Another tip? Don't get caught up in the hype about all of the things they think you must buy. Truth is, we tend to use only a few brushes, and basically concealer, foundation, some sort of blush, and tend to wear one combo of eye shadow. Start there. I wonder if they have the video on youtube...hey, I'll go look for you right now! OK, they do have some, but they are home made and lots of these women look like spooks with way too much make-up on. The one the company puts out is pretty darn good.
What do you use and like? Share with the rest of the class. And PLEASE...let there be a class!! Share my blog with your friends. Post the link on your myspace and facebook or forward posts to your friends. Get me up and running! I can't do it without my village to raise this child!
I really enjoyed her honesty. I think probably at least every middle aged woman can relate to much of what she said about her journey to discovering her place, her role, her self. I was not as enthralled with the poem, but hey, it was intended for kids, not for adults as much. I think I will give this book to kids I know upon their HS graduation. I wonder if it will hit home as much as the beginning and end portions of the book did for me. At the very end, she creates a pledge to herself, and leaves you space to create a pledge to yourself. One of her pledge points that particularly resonated with me was:
"I pledge to avoid using the word "just" to describe myself. For example, I won't say, "I'm just a mother," "I'm just a student," or "I'm just an ordinary person".
One of the things that hit me, was how often I say "I'm just a house Frau", or when somebody asks what I do I say "nothing". Because our culture values jobs, work, and money. If you don't work outside the home, or don't make any money, we treat those people like "nothing". Well, we aren't. IF we were paid for what we do at home, it would cost a lot to pay someone to do all those things. And, in that job, you are always on call. So why do I allow myself to be "just" or "nothing"? No idea, but I can certainly start with my speech and with my own opinion.
Maria talks about this idea of not allowing others to define you, and not painting yourself into a corner with even your OWN definition. To allow it to flex and grow because life changes and so do we. It's a tiny little book, and like I said, the major portion I wasn't as entertained with, but there were some thought-provoking pearls in it. I'm sure libraries have it by now, and I got it for .99 plus postage from thriftbooks online. I'll buy the unused unmarred version for the HG graduates in my life.
In the final 10 minute clip, lifespan development is explained through this spiritual perspective. It is said that the etheric body comes to the earth plane by choice, and chooses the womb, the parents, the environment and the situations that one needs in order for enlightenment or full spiritual growth to take place. The "whole design of life is known to the self" and the goal of physical life is to learn to become fully integrated and fully reconnected to the source from whence we originate. According to this perspective, consciousness enters the fetus and life begins at that point. Birth is known as the moment when the first external breath outside the womb is taken.
Next there is a breakdown of lifespan development which states that: awareness of the source is known from day one to age 7, at age 7 the mind begins to take shape, at age 14 the mind is fully formed, at age 14 the intellect is activated and fully developed by the age of 21, between the ages of 21-28 the person experiences the combination of body/mind/intellect and by the age of 28 life depends on self knowledge but is often elusive due to our "wrong" focus. Cosmic energy flow is blocked which leads to physical illness, stress, tensions and ultimately death. It is said that life often passes without awareness or understanding of the purpose of life that was instinctively known in the early years of childhood, and that one may be too rigid to reach the source at death.
The next portion of the clip describes that often, after death, due to this rigidity and lack of full awareness, one may spend time circulating the spirit in lower astral planes. This may be what we often experience as "ghosts" (those beings working through some issues before going to higher vibrational frequencies). The closest concept we Westerners may have of this phase may be the Catholic idea of "limbo" (although they really do not appear to be the same concepts).
From this perspective, it is believed that through earlier work on awareness of knowledge of the self through regular meditation and the integrating of cosmic energy received in meditation, one may be able to return directly to the source after physical life ends without spending time first as a lower astral being. Through Third Eye, and Astral Travel, one will have understanding of the full-spectrum of being. Enlightenment is achieved through this process and is described as the "absence of suffering and desire". In Western terms, it can be simplified by the analogy in the game of Monopoly: pass Go and collect $200 rather than going straight to jail.
Regardless of one's religious or spiritual persuasion, the potential for common ground exists in the concepts that one comes to the earth plane to learn, grow and complete a cycle from spiritual being, back to spiritual being, with a physical existence in between. The process by which one is to grow is through time spent in meditation or prayer, or connection to one's concept of "source" or "God" and that greater awareness of this Divinity creates an ever growing awareness of and community with this spiritual source. This concept seems to be a universal one, a common thread between many faith systems. Where we differ is in the mechanism of this process. May we continue to seek common ground with respect and tolerance of the diverse paths we have all chosen.
Stay tuned as I will be writing a three part series next on Chakras. Part one will be an overview of what chakras are and how they are said to function, Part 2 will be a book review on a book about chakras, and part three will be a visualization exercise I often use with clients in energy healing sessions to balance and restore health to these energy centers.
We are disrespectful and unkind and belittling to the "other views"...which ever ones are not ours. Both "sides" do it. All sides do it. All the while pointing the finger that they don't and the other side does, or that the other side did it first. Now how childish is that I ask you? "He hit me first Mom, he called me a bad name first!".
This reared it's ugly head to me just last night. I received an email that was a comparison of Conservatives and Liberals. I'm not gonna say which way it was slanted cuz that's not important. Point was, it was slanted and disrespectful to at least one side. I asked the person who sent it, why they sent it. OK, I said "Why the FRICK would you send this to me?". They said that they just didn't think I understood what one of those sides was about and represented. And honestly, I think this person felt that the comparison was balanced and accurate and not in the least inflammatory. How can we be so far off the mark? In sending this to me, this person said, in essence, "your views are wrong, mine are right, and here, let me educate your ignorant self". And it hurt me. It hurt to be disrespected by someone close to me. And if further hurt to get the "oh, forget it! WHATEVER!" discount type of response, that further says "and your kind are always so oversensitive". I'm having a hard time letting it go, and yet I feel if I open a conversation up about it again, it will only go from bad to worse.
I wish, and I hope and I pray that people will get a clue. Do not spout your political and religious views all over like a giant vomit. I don't care which side you're on...all sides are doing it...all sides are being disrespectful and wrong. Do not share your political views unless asked. What's the point really? To try to push your view on someone else, plain and simple. You can call it whatever you want, but it still boils down to pushing against that which you don't believe, rather than to embrace and live what you DO believe. Walk your own walk. Let others walk their own walk. If they want your opinion, trust me, they'll ask for it. It is a simple matter of respect. I don't even talk politics or religion with people who share my beliefs. I'm not interested in making myself feel more "right".
We are a diverse world. We are a diverse United States. We achieve so much more by seeking peace, towards showing respect for each other and our views. Vote in accordance to your truth, act in accordance with your truth, but do not get so hung up in your rightness, that you must convert or push at or harm or insult those with other views.
My prayer for us all, is to respect and honor each other and make it our primary goal to look for common ground, not matter how hard it is to find it. A house divided against itself cannot stand. It was true when Jesus said it about the church, it was true when Abraham Lincoln repeated it about the north and south of the U.S. and it is still true (in my humble opinion). I challenge you all to think before you speak, to think before you post your "truth" on Face Book, My Space, email forwards and Twitter, in conversation and just randomly. And learn to monitor your thoughts. Not saying it is half the battle, not thinking badly of an other's opinion is the other half. Ask yourself, "is what I'm about to say/post/forward/write, TRUE beyond any shadow of doubt, provable beyond any refute? (and let's face it, NOTHING is). Is it kind and loving? What do I hope to achieve with it, and is this the right way to go about doing it?"
Holding on tightly to ANY view is a sure sign of fear. Pushing hard at someone with a different view, is another sign of fear. Spend some time figuring out what this fear is. Is it fear that if your ideas are challenged you will have nothing to cling to? Is it anger at someone in your past who shoved THEIR ideas down your throat so now you push in the opposite way, but with similar impact on others?
Every act, every word, is either a call for love, or an expression of love. What do your words and actions express? I believe that often when we work hard to push at someone elses' views, to peck at them either directly or indirectly, we say "I want you to love me and if you don't believe as I do, I fear you are rejecting me".
Monday, September 21, 2009
Feelings Buried Alive Never Die by Karol K. Truman. This book really helps you go back and gently unearth old traumas, old feelings, old experiences that are still ruling the way you approach life, relationships, work. Like the title implies, stuffing old hurts, wounds and experiences just festers, you've not hidden or gotten rid of anything, you've just pushed poison below the surface. Think of it this way: let's say you never take your garbage out, but instead, you find a large closet in your home where you put it. Close the door. Not so bad at first right? But life is messy, so soon there is more garbage, and you put it in the closet. It begins to stink, it begins to attract rodents and roaches; maggots start wiggling under the door. Soon the smell permeates the entire house, begins to cause illness, the bugs and vermin are everywhere and the house (or in this case, the body) becomes uninhabitable. Well, you get the picture, right? Dump your old garbage people! It isn't getting any prettier in the closet.
You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay. This little gem has been around for a long while. Often used by therapists. Three quarters of the book discusses how important our thought patterns are and how to change them. How negative thought patterns, and holding on to old garbage will ruin your health and can eventually lead to debilitating illness or terminal illness. Louise contends that every physical illness we have is created through our negative thoughts and holding on to our toxic old junk. The final quarter or so of the book is sort of like a dictionary of health ailments. You can look up what health issue you have and she shows the likely negative thought pattern (most often based in fear) responsible. She also gives a new thought pattern to focus on instead. Currently a friend is borrowing my copy so I can't give you an example from the book but let's just make one up so you get the idea. Let's say you have arthritis, and let's say that Louise wrote that arthritis is likely linked to the thought pattern "life is a pain, all my parents ever did was beat me and all my relationships hurt", then let's say Louise wrote for a new pattern "life is comfortable and easy. All of the relationships I choose from this point forward are a balm to my soul". OK, I just made all that up, but you get the idea.
I'm tellin' you, you can't go wrong with these two diamonds. And, I bet, if you order them both from Amazon, you'll qualify for free shipping. And if you buy them, let me know what you think of them once you read them. Let me know if there are patterns that you immediately begin to shift. Truly, our lives are in our OWN hands. Nobody in our past created who we are right now. There are contributors to where we end up before we have new awareness. But right now, at this moment, you have new awareness. It is up to you to become that which you want to become, and it is the fault of only you if you choose to give up your life and your choices to ghosts of your past. Just choose in full awareness of what those choices are.
Nirvana is a level of consciousness wherein we begin to fully understand that we are not just a body but we simply reside inside one, a place where we begin to understand that all experiences are for our "own evolution", a place where we understand with greater clarity that "there is no death, we are eternal beings". This is a state of consciousness where greater, universal wisdom is found. It is not a location, it is a state of being. It is not peace per se, but a sense of peace can come from the wisdom and understanding gained in the state of consciousness called Nirvana. It appears to be a place in which one opens to the wisdom of the ages, and the collective Divine consciousness of the universe. I have heard it referred to as a feeling or state of bliss, but it is really not defined as a feeling either. In the Wikipedia definition of it, it has been described as a state of the absence of all sense of suffering. I think I would also say, it could be defined as a place of connection with all that is, ever has been and ever will be, or a direct link to Divinity (however you define that).
Many people believe that Nirvana is synonymous with Heaven and this appears not to be so. In some ways it seems a vague and hard to nail down concept. It is difficult for Westerners to grasp, but probably makes perfect sense to those who grew up with it. It is not a Western but a Sanskrit word, so it rather defies Western words to define or describe it.
It is said that we reach or experience Nirvana through more and more meditation, which takes us to ever higher levels of vibration, to ever greater numbers of dimensions, and to deeper connection with our concept of "God".
In my next and final article in this series (8 of 8), we look at "Life after Life".
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Mostly what I've done in the past is use sage or other herbs and cleanse with smoke and prayer or intention, cleansing myself and my space with the smoke. I have a friend who does it with candle magic intention, and another who does it with singing bowls and intention.
This guy (who, by the way gave me a bit of the willies and I'm not sure why) did it with intention and tuning forks. He makes them himself and they are freaking huge. They might have been 3 feet long and 30 pounds! He struck them with a standard issue rubber hammer. So he had two of them and he the two of them walked around striking it while setting their intention for negative energy to clear. Sometimes he would strike it and push the tip to the floor sending vibrations through the floor. He also used it much like you see them use those wands at the airport...to bo around her body with it and to gently touch it to areas of her body he felt needed it. I helped with that. Then she said, I want to do that to you...so I stood there and let them both pass the forks around my body touching it in some areas. The vibrations, both in sound and sensation felt really strange but really good.
What types of clearing/cleansing rituals do you use or have you ever heard of?
After watching a few clips on tuning forks, I found a woman demonstrating the use for health benefit, but her clips don't have embedding so I can't post them here. Just for information, I'm going now to look at her webpage at www.tuningforktherapy.com
In the clip, the narrator describes a physical sensation that may be experienced during meditation and connection to the astral body, wherein one may feel movement, a sense of weightlessness, or a lightness. One may also have sensations of not being able to perceive the density of one's own physical body for a short time.
The astral body is connected to the physical body by what is referred to as a "silver cord". This silver cord can best be likened to an umbilical cord, a kite string connecting kite to kite flier, or the life line that connects an astronaut to the space ship. The clip is really helpful in giving a visual representation in which to conceive of the silver cord.
Astral Travel is the movement of the astral body from within the physical body, by way of the silver cord, out into other dimensions or frequencies. The term "dreaming" is up to vast interpretation and can mean simple brain activity during sleep to actual perceptions of having been in different dimensions. It is "travel of our consciousness to known and unknown places and frequencies".
My own personal experiences with astral travel occur most often during sleep, and when conducting energy healing with self or others. In sleep, these "dreams" have a very different quality from my usual dreams. In typical dreaming, there is a nonsensical quality to the "story line". In my typical dreams, I may be walking along a road that becomes a bed, and I am talking to a person that becomes a chicken and so on...I may, upon waking be able to link some of the things experienced (if I remember anything at all), with something I recently saw, read, watched on TV or discussed with someone. It feels more like the brain is continuing to work on those same concepts.
In astral travel, for me, there is a totally different experience. The "dreams" are linear. They make perfect sense. But I am in places and with people I do not know. And, more often than not, I remember them in great detail. They aren't usually prophetic or profound, they are as though I was simply in a different place either witnessing someone else's life for a time, or witnessing myself in another dimension of reality.
If you have been watching the popular TV program "Fringe" (a new twist on the X-Files), they are looking at this idea of multiple dimensions (in an albeit very Sci-Fi way). The topic of multiple dimensions of space and time are also covered in the DVD's What the Bleep Do We Know? and The Elegant Universe.
At times I have had a hard time waking up to rejoin THIS dimension, when I astral travel. I'm groggier, sleep harder, and can feel more disconnected from my body upon awakening. I may feel a little "out of it" for the rest of the day. It sometimes feels as though a part of me remained somewhere else. This experience is not to be confused with a sleep disorder, or a dissociative disorder, the only way in which our Western culture seems to be able to categorize such experiences.
In the clip, it is said that during astral travel, one's astral body is able to move through all substances (much the way we currently perceive of a "ghost" being able to move), with no limitations. It is also claimed that one "should" experience astral travel in order to perceive that we are not simply mind and body but are more than that, and without limitations. I'm not fond of "shoulds". I think it could be sufficient for one to accept that this form of reality shifting exists or is at least an interesting concept to ponder.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Then there is the one that says people should be paid for their work. Period.
I'm influenced and indoctrinated by the first one, and convinced of the second one.
See, I had my first education in the more traditional fields of psychology, sociology, and anthropology...then went on to get a master's degree in social work. I'm here to tell you people, that in this field, we get paid. And we monetarily benefit from the pain and suffering of others. We go bankrupt without pain and suffering and despair. As do doctors, lawyers, surgeons, insurance companies, plumbers...think of more.
Even people in the alternative field devalue themselves by charging to little, or not at all because they fear this means they are opportunistic parasites and are not legit.
Payment for service shows respect, AND allows the practitioner to survive and to continue offering their services to many other people. I DO, sometimes question the high prices that famous alternative people make, but in that case, it is simply a matter of consumerism...if people want to pay it...that's none of my beeswax. If I was rich, I might spring for their services too.
I have the interesting contrast to have been a part of both worlds. I worked in my educated field, and then found it so lacking and so over burdensome and ineffective, and such a waste of my gifts that I went out on my own. First I got some additional training for my "natural" gifts. Then I opened shop. And for the most part, I had a policy that I would see people regardless of their ability to pay. I was offering a combination of counseling with energy healing to assist people in making the mind/body connection. What I attracted was people who had exhausted their resources on traditional therapies and were tapped out. I saw them anyway. I did this for three years. In lieu of rent for my office space (which had other offices in it), I cleaned the office space for all. In a three year period, I made just enough money to cover expenses and not a single penny more. The energy output for me, especially as an empath is HUGE. And at some point, the reward of "thank you you've helped me so much", just wasn't cutting it for me. I have hopes and dreams and aspirations and desires and bills to pay too. The balance is off.
Why should I not be paid for my "gifts"? Singers, musicians, athletes...should they all be told that their gifts came from God and as such, should be given freely? We sort of DO live in a world that trades on the dollar to get by.
There's always bartering, right? That is problematic. It still give you no cash flow. And often, the trades are unequal, or people don't reciprocate, or don't take their trade when you've accepted their service, some services don't have much overhead, some products/services do, and you sort of have to maneuver sticky situations if somebody knows you barter, but you don't want what they have. Then there is the whole issue of the IRS view of bartering. It's basically illegal. And the larger question becomes the return of...why should I take a chicken instead of money if I have a product/service that people value (and by value, I mean, they like it, they come to it, they utilize it, but don't think they should pay for it).
So, consequently, I closed up shop. Might have to "get a REAL job".
Then enters in this idea of being ripped off, lied to etc. Yup, it happens. There are alternative people out there who have no gift or skill and hang up a shingle and rip people off. The "snake oil salesmen" of old. Visions of Professor Trelawny in Harry Potter might come to mind.
OK, so I'm gonna ask you. Be honest. How many times have you purchased a product that did not live up to the advertising? How many times have you gotten your hair cut by a butcher with a pair of scissors? How many times have you taken your car in for repair and been ripped off? How many times in your life have you been lied to, cheated, or had a product or service not live up to your expectations? That's life baby. The world is full of both good and bad. Deal with it. It is not exclusive to people in the woo-woo world. You vote with your dollars and your word-of-mouth advertising. You never buy a product twice that sucks, you change doctors, etc. Very rarely (despite the press), do we sue for all the times we are lied to and cheated, so to me it is a non-issue that often times alternative practitioners don't have licenses or boards that we can report to. You can sue anybody for anything if you want to. Most of the time we don't...we just go elsewhere. And in my case, it wasn't that my "charlatanism" put me out of business...I HAD business. I just let people continue to not pay me. I undervalued the gift and they did to. We all bought into the first notion that a gift is freely given. Well, yeah that is a cool IDEA...but rather shortsighted. I won't do that anymore. I'll give it when I feel so inclined, but by and large, until something changes in the biz to legitimize it in all our minds and pocketbooks, I'm out of the storefront business. I'll give it away for "free" on the web, and get the advertisers to pay for it. So click click click on those sidebar ads and make me rich, baby! Then I can go get a reading from a high-dollar TV psychic. Cuz everybody knows they are more gifted than everybody else, right?
I went to bed early tonight...like...oh...OK, I'll admit it...9:00...and then woke up at 10:30. Wanna know what woke me up? Yes, Willow, we are DYING to know. What woke you up, Princess?
I awoke to the sound of a deer fawn in my front yard crying for it's lost mother (well, I'm guessing the mother wasn't lost, but the fawn may have been). I have heard recordings of elk calves crying, but never heard a deer make a peep before. It sounds sort of like when you let air out of a balloon by stretching the opening so it squeaks...do that in rapid short bursts and you just about have the sound.
So I ask my husband, where he supposes that fawn's mother is...and what does he say? What, Willow! Tell us what he said! He said "maybe she got hit by a car". So now he's snoring away and I'm awake worried about a lost baby!
The third eye is described in this clip as a "powerful tool of the soul; to see, to feel and to hear the higher frequency realities". Increased meditation, which leads to increases in cosmic energy, is said to be the way the third eye functions are activated. Your experience of this may, and most probably will, be somewhat different from that which is described in the clip. It is said that the third eye function allows one to "see crystal clear vision of this plane and other planes...things not present in the realm of the 5 senses". It is also important to note that people often find that experiences of the third eye, are in a non-verbal place, and are more experiential in nature, so often seem to defy verbal explanation to others in clear ways that they can understand.
While experiencing third eye functions, one may see "masters...as we know them", which I simply take to mean that you may have a deep feeling or experience of connection to Divinity in the form that is compatible with your belief system, and which may eventually be seen or experienced simply as a bright light; a bright light that is recognized by you instantly by its quality or the feeling you experience...a knowing of this light as your familiar Deity. It is stated that from this place of connection, in the third eye, answers to questions, messages, other frequencies, and feelings will be experienced. Changes will begin to manifest in our outer world as a result of this higher vibrational connection.
When they describe a sensation of wanting to merge with this light by going through a tunnel, don't confuse it with our conceptualization of a near death experience although the wording appears similar, and perhaps the experiences are similar, but the situation and circumstances are different. When they describe hearing voices, sounds, music, etc, do not fear or confuse these experiences with psychosis or schizophrenia. In the context described, these experiences will most often be limited to time spent in meditation, sleep or when focusing on connecting with other realms. They will not generally be present all the time, and, of course, will not be telling you to do harmful or destructive things, nor should they be disruptive or fear-producing. If you are troubled or confused, monitor your experiences closely and journal about them.
Honestly, it can, at times be difficult to sort spiritual/psychic experiences from a psychotic break from reality. Seek the assistance of an energy healer and consider an evaluation by a mental health professional if you are experiencing anything that feels disturbing to you. It's all about balance, the ability to function in everyday tasks, and functioning well in relationships.
A note about the clip: For the first 2:37 minutes of this YouTube clip, there must be a little left over from a previous portion of a clip. In this short span, there is discussion of higher knowledge, higher understanding, and knowledge is described as "experience". Then the third eye information begins. So don't be confused like I was that this must be the wrong clip. As stated in part 1 of this series, this is not the DVD in it's entirety, although it almost is, and whoever edited these into parts did a good but not perfect editing job. Stay tuned for part 6 of 8 which will cover the Astral Body and Astral Travel.
Friday, September 18, 2009
According to the DVD, the pyramid is the "most stable structure which receives (or is a conductor of) the highest cosmic energy in this planet earth." It is stated that if one meditates within the structure of a perfect pyramid, the maximum amount of cosmic energy will be transmitted, and if a crystal is hung at the apex of the pyramid, even more can be received. The pyramid should perfectly align with the four directions and the material that the pyramid is constructed of is of no importance.
I have to admit, I had a flash of what my neighbors might think if I constructed a pyramid in my back yard out of old appliance boxes, and further added to my image that I could wear a hat of tin foil to complete the ensemble. I'm guessing that my sophomoric reaction is simply due to this being a new concept that takes some getting used to. Who am I to say if it works or does not work? While I'm unlikely to construct such a special meditation space, I could conceive of creating such a meditation room if I ever build a new home. Why not? I would love to hear posts from people who are familiar with this idea and what you think about it, or from people who have meditated in a pyramid structure to see what your experience was. Minds are like parachutes. They only work when they are open. So I'm keeping an open mind on this one.
Then, as mentioned, this segment is completed with a review of parts 1-4. Also of interest was the guideline given that the time spent in meditation "should" be equal to your age in years. If you're 40, spend 40 minutes and so on. I would presume that it would be perfectly acceptable to work up to this if you are new to meditation so that you are not overwhelmed by so much time at first. It was also stated that children could begin meditating as early as age 5. If you use the principles described, it would seem, depending on the child, they could begin even earlier. Interestingly the current guideline for "time-outs" is one minute per year of age. So if that is workable, it would seem that one minute per year of age of "quiet time" could be a useful practice too. Sit with your child during these times to demonstrate what sitting quietly is.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Depleted cosmic energy leads to "etheric patches" which appear to translate into areas in the body where the cosmic energy is restricted or blocked. It is stated that the "root cause for all diseases is the lack of energy in the etheric body". The DVD has a very accessible representation for the conceptualizing of the manifestation of illness or disease.
Increasing the flow of cosmic energy (or however you perceive this concept), through meditation, silence or centering prayer is said to clear these etheric patches and prevent or clear disease processes. For those of you who may be bothered by the Eastern concepts or semantics, simply substitute the "source energy" that fits with your religious or spiritual tradition or beliefs. A discordance with the terminology used does not necessitate a negation of the pearls to be found between the words.
Part 3 on the Etheric Body is shown below. Stay tuned for part 4 on Pyramid and Pyramid Power, perhaps one of the most foreign concepts to many of the entire DVD.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
What Doctors Don't Tell You; The Truth About the Dangers of Modern Medicine by Lynne McTaggart. You can also look inside this one at Amazon.
There are SO many ways that our loved ones try to let us know that they are around us. Pay attention and you'll be surprised. A favorite song or a song with lyrics that are pertinent at just the right time or at random times; a butterfly landing on you or a bird coming near and chirping, or a wind chime chiming when there is no wind. My grandmothers chiming clock will ding or ping at odd times...I always say hello. Psychic Lisa Williams says that our loved ones leave pennies for us. I haven't experienced this but many people have. I'm probably too tidy. Those penny's in the street or parking lot, and apparently they leave penny's around your house. Sometimes they move things...a special memento you hold of theirs. Sometimes it is just that feeling when you're doing something "Oh man, they would have LOVED this!"...yup, they're there with you. Look for the signs. Share some of the signs you've experienced...especially if you notice them NOW, since you've been made more aware to watch for them.
In this series, Cosmic Energy is described as the bond that holds everything together as well as the space between everything. It exists everywhere. It is the life force. It expands consciousness. I think people call it by many different names. It might be called "universal energy", "Divine energy", "God energy". It is that which is bigger than us, the force that we know exists, but that is often hard to describe.
In the clip, it is said that sleep and silence (unconscious meditation), gives us a limited amount of this restorative cosmic energy, but not as much as we need, and that meditation (conscious sleep) or silent prayer (not the kind that is filled with the words of our thoughts, but the kind where we sit silently in the presence of God), gives us abundant amounts of cosmic energy.
In the meditation section, we are given very good, very basic guidelines on what meditation is, and how to do it. There are many forms of meditation and different guidelines for each variety. Centering Prayer is a Christian adaptation of Eastern meditation, where a sacred word is asked for, and then one sits in the silent presence of God. Shoto Zen Serene Reflection meditation is a type wherein one faces a blank wall, and keeps the eyes open. Part of the theory being, that then one can literally learn to meditate anywhere at any time, even standing in line at the grocery store. In Transcendental Meditation, a mantra is given and one says the mantra to distract the busy mind from thoughts. Try not to get too hung up on types and styles. As Nike would say, "just do it". Once you get the basics down, explore different styles until you find one that resonates with your personal preferences and belief system. There really is no "wrong" way to do it (although you will hear that there is). In this clip, you will see that eyes are closed, and the mantra is replaced by breath awareness.
I love the visuals in this video. I can relate to the way it shows thoughts as bubbles swimming around your head and the demonstration of how they gradually reduce. I also like the visuals of breath awareness. And I don't think, when they say that eventually the thoughts stop and the breath stops, that they mean you actually cease to breathe. I assume that they mean, you cease to be aware of any thoughts or breath, and are "in the zone" so to speak.
Most forms of meditation would share the common ground that one does not push against thoughts. Thoughts are how our human brain is designed to function. I'm told repeatedly by clients that they can't meditate because either "they don't have time" (which is a lame excuse), or "I can't shut my thoughts off". Just see your thoughts as clouds in the sky where there is a gentle breeze. They show up, they pass by. Neither push them away (or worse yet, club yourself for having them and failing), nor attach to them...even to those that feel like Divine experience. Just let them all float by. Start small. Five minutes would be a good start. As a Buddhist monk has told me, "never underestimate the value in just 5 minutes". Teachers vary in their instruction about sitting position, chair style etc and many say, never fall asleep meditating. I'm a liberal when it comes to meditation, I think, it's all good. Be comfortable...it isn't the "Zen Master Olympics". And personally, I believe that if you fall asleep while meditating, you continue to meditate and probably needed the sleep. And what better way to enter sleep than with a quieted mind? Sometimes I think that there is much that goes on in our sleep state and it "is what it is". Sometimes you sleep, sometimes you don't. Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't...oh, wait, that's something else.
In this DVD, it can at times be difficult to understand the presenter's accent. There is a word in this video that try as I might I cannot catch. He says that the state of no thought and no breath is called...something that sounds like..."Nirmelsteady". I can't find anything like that on the web, so no doubt, I don't know how to spell it. I would be really grateful to anybody who can fill me (and everyone else) in, if they know this word and what it means. Hmmm, I'm guessing it means "state of no thought and no breath" or "in the zone" or "meditation".
Do you think there is a ghost in your house? Are you thinking you need to DO something about it?
You would be surprised at how many people have the experience of either transient or resident disembodied spirits in their living or personal space. Often, you can take care of it yourself without the help of those guys from the movie.
The most common type of spirit would be those connected to YOU. A deceased loved one. Have you suffered a particularly close loss? It's possible this being is staying near you to comfort you or perhaps is trying to communicate. Often you can tell because you feel that feeling (the one that makes you wonder if there is a ghost nearby...even if you don't believe in them), which is either preceded or followed by an IMMEDIATE thought of that person. Do you need to get rid of this ghost? Not really. Spirits go where they want to, and it shouldn't be particularly bothersome to have a loved one around now and then. Perhaps though, you're holding on to THEM. Do you need to release them and move on with your life? A simple conversation either aloud or telepathically (in your head, mind to mind) can help. Just talk to them like you would anybody else. "Listen" for the answers. Responses from spirits will often seem like your own imagination or your own thoughts. The subtle difference is, it will come fast, almost instantaneously and it may contain info you didn't know or contain info you either hadn't remembered or thought about in ages. This can be their way of confirming for you that it really isn't your imagination. Welcome them for occasional visits but let them know it's OK for them to move on to wherever they need to be for their further development.
Another type of spirit is one just passing through. The transient spirit. They're everywhere. They travel. "Heaven" or the "other side" is not a lock-down facility. It could be that they stopped by to see what was going on, but will soon leave. This type can often be recognized because you don't really pick up much besides a sense there is something there. No feeling, no fear, just a noise or a movement out of your peripheral vision. When I think this is the type I may be experiencing, I say something like "Oh, Hi, I notice you. If you need some help, you'll have to make that clear, otherwise, thanks for dropping by, keep on movin'". It's usually not a swift idea to be too welcoming because your house could soon be grand central station. And while they don't mean to, they can inadvertently syphon your energy or you can sponge in some of their emotions. If you're a people helping type of person, one who doesn't say no to your friends, you can be susceptible to collecting spirits too. Learn to let them have their own journeys and send them on their way to find it.
If you think you have a resident spirit and it is bothersome, the first step for me (everybody finds a way that works best for them), is usually education. Sometimes they don't know they're dead. Sudden death or violent death can be such a sudden shock that their energy continues as though they think they are the same as they've ever been. So I say things like "Do you remember an accident or illness? Do you remember a funeral? Do you notice that nobody can see or hear you? Do you notice you can't pick things up or do the same things that you used to do? Do you eat? Do you sleep? Do you travel in the same way? If not, you might be dead". Yeah, that sort of reminds me of Jeff Foxworthy's "You might be a redneck if..." Then ask them to look around for a spirit helper or a loved one on the other side who had been patiently waiting to answer their questions and assist them in their next level of life. I don't know what that is. There are theories of course, and they stem from various forms of religious belief or custom. Truth is, none of us REALLY knows. I just say that honestly. "I don't know how this works but I've read that there might be a light to walk into and I've also heard that there is unconditional love and forgiveness for you."
Personally, I don't believe in Hell anymore, and not really in a Heaven like I was brought up to believe in. Just many levels and layers of development planes. But I'm cool with whatever works for you. I don't believe it is ever too late to grow, change and learn.
If you have a spirit around who is bothersome and bullyish, and whatever you've tried doesn't seem to be working, consider getting a professional to assist you. There are lots of them out there. One such person that I've spoken to via phone is Sandra Staves and you can check out her site at www.energymattersinc.com She works with angel guides and refers to herself as a ghost liberator. She's a kick.
While I'm sure it exists, I truly don't personally believe there is much if any "pure evil" out there. We create that from our own fear and lack of understanding...lack of a framework in our culture or religious groups to know how to categorize this stuff. Spirits are like solid people. If they were a jerk here...they might be a jerk there. At least until they learn better. I try to think of these types as hurting, confused beings. If suddenly nobody could see or hear you, you might bet loud and obnoxious in your panic too; persistently bothering the one person you have found who has shown even a glimmer that they feel you. That's just human AND spirit nature. They're just people in a different form, trying to find their way. What helped me to not be so scared in their presence is to think of them like a small naughty child. I won't take their crap, but I will also try to assist them in figuring out why they are so unhappy. Once you reduce a bothersome spirit to the frightened child inside, greater understanding can unfold.