By Joanne Brocas
Angels are celestial beings that radiate divine light and work on behalf of their creator God for the greater good of mankind. Angelic beings also assist in managing and maintaining order within the universe, and this involves the intervention of different ranks of angels who are attributed divine knowledge and wisdom, divine power, and who have specific divine roles and tasks given to them by God. It is because of the differing knowledge and power awarded to the angels that we have what is known as the angelic or celestial hierarchy. It is said that there are nine choirs of angels, which are also divided into three distinct orders or spheres. The angels closest to God will have more divine knowledge, wisdom, and power bestowed on them than the orders directly ranked below them, thus the hierarchy is formed. Each distinct order and each individual choir have specific tasks and divine roles and all choirs carry out the will of God.
How to Communicate with Angels
As angels are spiritual beings you interact with them in subtle intuitive ways, which are non-physical. Everyone is intuitive and the more self-aware you become, then the stronger your natural intuition becomes. It is much easier than you may think to sense, hear, and see the angels around you. However, if you are waiting for physical evidence of the angels around you as proof of their existence, then you may be waiting a very long time and you will miss out on the loving guidance of the angelic realm because you will naturally block all other avenues of communication. The angels are able to and are happy to bring you certain signs as “tangible evidence” that they are around you; such as a white feather, a butterfly or a reference to angels by others etc. but they “will not” appear in physical form, or speak to you in a direct physical sounding voice just to satisfy your desire for proof of their existence. To be able to spiritually sense, see, and hear the angels through your intuitive nature you simply need to relax your body and energy field and ignite your faith and belief that your guardian angel is by your side.
So how do you know if you are sensing, hearing, and seeing angels if they are typically unseen? Sensing the angels is very subtle but it will evoke a calm feeling within your nervous system, you can also have the sensation of feeling safe and secure, and you may have a physical sensation of body warmth when the angels are near. You can also feel overly joyous or instantly uplifted when you sense the angels around you. Simply ask your guardian angel to surround you with their loving energy so that you can “feel/sense them.” The touch of angelic energy on your own vibration is very uplifting and healing. Seeing the angels will also be very subtle and will work through your intuitive mind and imagination. You may have a mental picture and quick glimpse within your mind of what your guardian angel looks like, or you may even see your guardian angel within your dream state. You can also use the art of meditation to intuitively see what your guardian angel looks like. You may see sparkles of light, different colors of light, or a human looking angel with white wings. Let your imagination roam free and your creative mind will activate your desire to see what the angels look like as they will impress their image within your imagination.
Hearing the angels will again be very subtle and so much so that you can often feel like you are making it all up. The angels will work through your mental energy by filtering angelic guidance through your own thought process. The thoughts will always be positive, uplifting, healing, and inspiring when they are angelic in nature. Angels love to whisper their helpful guidance to us in the hope that we will listen. We have free will to pay attention and choose our own paths, but when you ask for help from a higher power, then the angels will work in co-creation with you and God, and you will be aligned with a power that is far greater than yourself alone. Faith and belief in a higher power are the key ingredients to help you activate powerful spiritual assistance within your life. God’s holy angels can and will help you in all your ways, and all you need to do is to remember to Ask!
Double Crystallization and Entrainment Fields in Spiritual Guides, Teachers and Communities by Maureen Addington
Double Crystallization and Entrainment Fields
in Spiritual Guides, Teachers and Communities
By Maureen Addington
Isn’t it curious how particular people, groups, places or experiences draw us while others don’t. Often for reasons that are indiscernible. According to the world of physics everything whether inert or animate, large or small, fast or slow vibrationally, has an energetic field surrounding it. And as a result of various factors, which many a dedicated physicist will tell you about, all things and their accompanying fields are naturally attracted and repelled at different times and in different ways.
One classical physics definitions of entrainment is: ‘The process whereby two interacting oscillating systems assume the same period.’ A few simpler definitions include ‘To be brought aboard’ or ‘To pull or draw along after itself.’
Specific to spiritual guides and teachers the term entrainment sometimes refers to the theory that if you spend time in the physical presence of an individual who has achieved a certain level of clarity or enlightenment, it may in some ways raise your own vibrational field. As spiritual paths go this is a fairly popular one as opposed to say the dawning of a hair shirt for example.
The actual science versus psychology and suggestibility of the phenomenon of entrainment is secondary, for the purposes here, to the simple fact that it exists as a major dimension of human experience.
In the east the term for an individual who has achieved a certain degree of enlightenment and at the same time continues to be ruled by ego and personality is ‘Double Crystallization.’ A partial list of egoic and personality traits includes duplicity, greed, vanity, self centeredness, exploitation, sexual misconduct, materialism, disproportional tendency for self preservation, addictive behavior, bullying and gossip.
Entrainment fields are often brought about through a large capacity for focused attention. This phenomenon can occur in any type of person for example: politicians, sports figures, actors, musicians, etc. In the spiritual realms the focused attention usually centers around various physical, religious, yogic, psychological or meditative practices, substance experimentation and or depriving the body of sleep or food for extended periods of time.
How does the crystallization actually work? Attention controls matter in a molecular state. In essence the high level of focused attention acts like a kind of crucible that cooks and crystalizes the person’s being into a semi-permanent state. If the person, for whatever reason, has this capacity for focus and yet has not attracted sufficiently high influences and guidance to render their ego and personality passive they end up as a double crystalized being. Which means they become a semi permanent, super charged version of both their hard won spiritual gifts and capacities along with the old patterns, habits and addictions of their still intact ego and personality. In some cases what this creates is a spiritual sociopath.
Humans are often indiscriminately drawn to prominent entrainment fields in others. Adolf Hitler had a large entrainment field. He attracted thousands of ordinary people and influenced them into doing things that would never have otherwise occurred to them under more supportive and loving circumstances.
On the level of physical existence, from the standpoint of the body, a large entrainment field represents power, authority, sexual charisma and in some cases actual physical survival, in both the animal and the human kingdoms. In spiritual and religious settings people are often led to believe consciously or unconsciously that the health and survival of their soul is dependent upon a particular teacher, dogma or practice. This is also a distorted byproduct of entrainment. Ultimately this makes it easy to understand from both sides why so often leaders are seduced by the power and the ‘high’ of double crystallization and followers subjugate themselves and engage in beliefs, behaviors and activities that they would not have normally.
“When you fall from favor with the Gods the first thing
they remove from you is your understanding, making
the worse judgment seem the better,
so you never know in which you error.”
This is the plight of Double Crystallization.
Most spiritual seekers are in the same boat as what is being described here with the distinct advantage of nothing having been made permanent yet. IE, strong and earnest spiritual intent and in many cases gifts, side by side with ego and personality, taking turns at whose in charge.
Double crystallization is very difficult to undo primarily because of the nearly permanent alchemical change and consequent advantages of this state. These individuals are often unphased by ordinary life circumstances. They are ostensibly ‘free’ of the mechanical and moralistic constraints associated with typical states of being combined with tremendous self love irrespective of actions or behaviors; a being capable of justifying any behavior and possessing an easy ability to move on from whatever mayhem is caused without remorse or self reflection.
Unfortunately due to the now super charged ego and personality this person also lacks genuine conscience. This term is not used in the ordinary sense of subjective morality. In this context the definition would be the highest objective ability to see circumstances, consequences and responsibilities from all angles.
The advantage one has over a spiritual leader or individual who has double crystalized is the possibility of clearing the tendencies that cause suffering. Being open and willing to admit, on the deepest level, your own shortcomings combined with the purist and most sincere appeal to whoever or whatever God is to you for the necessary support to reduce egoic manifestations to a permanent state of inconsequence. If you succeed in this instead of a double it is a singular crystallization of the highest form of unconditional love resulting in a fully awakened person free from the laws of ordinary existence and the karmic consequences of desire. A true servant of God.
Signs of double crystallization in a spiritual leader include: compartmentalizing, lying, actively practicing various addictions, using their energy to manipulate others, sexual or monetary exploitation of others, favoritism, controlling how they are seen by others, bullying, gossiping, creating spiritual communities that disallow the natural tendency to care for and be genuinely supportive of each other’s lives and well being, an unwillingness to make amends to others and admit personal tendencies or mistakes. The un-doing of double crystallization sometimes only occurs in death if at all. Basically circumstances must occur in which the being is ‘re-melted’ through great suffering and contrition.
On the flip side what is the spiritual seeker’s experience and responsibility in the above scenario? If I find myself drawn to a teacher who is double crystallized am I willing to admit to myself that this may mean that both aspects of that person’s being are appealing to me the light and the dark? In other words the incongruence of the teacher appeals to my own incongruence. And this is what I know. It is impossible to be closely connected to a spiritual leader of this nature and not share these same discrepancies, particularly the capacity for self-deception.
In the communities that I have participated in, or heard about, in which the leader was double crystallized, almost everyone involved knew about at least some aspects of the leader’s behavior that were dishonest, manipulative, secretive, or harmful and yet in almost every case, until it got to a certain scale, it was dismissed or justified somehow. As though, in those dynamics the basic human traits of honesty, accountability and doing unto others simply did not apply.
Is it really so surprising that any of us would pick teachers and communities that defy various traditional behaviors? Consciously or unconsciously being drawn to short cuts, lying for a higher purpose, justifying behaviors in the name of consciousness, skipping over or avoiding ordinary consequences or trying to get away with something. People in general, and spiritual people in particular, get their asses kicked here either in childhood, adulthood or both. Isn’t it natural to want to pull one over on God for once? Ironically, in many ways the internal consequences that propel people towards life long spiritual pursuits are the same ones that can mislead them.
I recently attended a silent weekend retreat. Even though I wasn’t interested in the teacher or the doctrine it afforded me the opportunity for long, silent periods of meditation in the beautiful natural setting in which it was being held. There were about 150 people attending. One night when I was walking back to my cabin several yards behind me I heard someone fall. I turned to see a young woman struggling to stand back up as four of the silent retreatants walked right past her. No one asked how she was or whether she needed help. They just kept walking and maintaining the prescribed state of silence. I turned around and walked back up the hill to help her. I had to ask her twice if she needed assistance before she said, “I think it’s pretty serious.” I helped her back to her cabin. It turned out she had recently had a total knee replacement. The knee that she had fallen on had two screws pressing out of the skin. The surrounding area was quickly turning multiple shades of black and blue. Shortly after the retreat manager arrived and took over her care.
The next day I saw the young woman, continuing to participate in the retreat, using crutches. I asked her if she was planning to leave, or had help to leave, and seek medical attention. She said even though she suspected that the injury was bone on bone she hoped to tough it out. I recommended that she abandon that idea and get herself back home to some medical attention as soon as possible.
There were so many things about this situation that were reflective to me personally beyond coincidence. It was all right there in front of me, blind devotion, black and white thinking, disregarding ordinary kindness, common sense and the welfare of others, white knuckling through because you think your soul depends on it, wagering more than you have the ability to pay, spiritual naiveté and magical thinking to name a few.
Also, just to be clear, whether one is oriented towards spiritual pursuits or not everyone gives themselves away, indiscriminately, to one thing or another. We all have egos, personalities and a longing for happiness. And in our confusion here we chase after externals thinking our fulfillment exits out there somewhere in a job, a house, physical appearance, health, family, a mate, addictions, power etc.
In this quiet moment, based on my own experience and what others have shared, I have to ask myself, would I ever be drawn to individuals and relationships, including those of any leader, who are not subject to simple honesty, transparency and the admission of ordinary human behaviors and foibles? In a world where two thirds of the planet doesn’t have enough food to eat would I ever wish to be associated with a teacher who has a cadre of students exclusively assigned to what she wears each day? Would I want to commit large amounts of my time and resources to growing an organization in which the teacher leads a double life, fraught with scandal and addictive behaviors, and yet completely insulated due to the blind devotion of his followers? Would I ever wish to be in a community again where men or women quietly leave, without explanation or goodbyes, because they have been devastated by the leader’s behavior towards them whether that be sexual, financial, or some other form of abuse or exploitation. And where the community that surrounds them, even after years of friendship, accepts this unquestioningly. And finally, most importantly, would I ever again want anyone one else to tell me who I am or what I am doing here?
The answer to all of this is no I wouldn’t. And without a shadow of a doubt, just like a vampire slayer, I can now identify this type of incongruence, in myself and others, from a mile away.
Regarding all of this right or wrong can only be answered by the individual and only in association with their own aims. For me at this time, I’m on my own inner journey subject, as always, to all that each of us is heir to here. I’m free of all desire to be connected to any form of spiritual authority or doctrine. I am turning inward now for guidance with the knowing that whatever is needed has been waiting for me there all my life.
Bio: Maureen has spent approximately 30 years in spiritual communities and in roles of promoting various teachers and teachings. She is now officially healed from those pursuits and is redirecting that energy to promoting internal guidance. She currently resides in Portland, Oregon where she does free lance contract work launching projects and organizations that help out in some way or another. firstname.lastname@example.org
Creatively Fun Lifestyle Tips for a Healthy Family
by Karen Ranzi, M.A.
Author: Creating Healthy Children through Attachment Parenting and Raw Foods
Some of the many advantages your children will experience after increasing the amount of fresh, unprocessed fruits and vegetables in their diets: absence of eye, ear, nose, throat or sinus infections, increased energy and attention spans, enhanced ability to process information, a heightened sense of ease, comfort, harmony, and perception, less hyperactivity, strengthened immune systems, enhanced athletic capability, increased brainpower and intellectual curiosity, emotional poise and a greater range of expressivity. I would like to share with you some of the many creative tips I learned along the nurturing parenting path to enhance a fun, healthy lifestyle that would help children understand the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables:
General Tips to Remember
1. Try different textures.
For example, a child may not like green leafy vegetables in a salad but may enjoy them in green smoothies, juices, soups or dips.
2. Keep fruits and vegetables around the kitchen in pretty baskets and brightly colored bowls.
Children will find the varied colors of the foods in their everyday environment attractive.
3. Name the foods you make with lively or catchy titles!
My kids created their own recipes, even from the time they were very little, and then gave names to the recipes. For example: BAT (Banana, Apple and a scoop of Tahini) – a cereal which worked very well at replacing the processed packaged cereals. BAT became a family favorite.
4. Kids love using equipment
A saladacco for making veggie pasta; a snow cone maker for making ices from fresh fruit juice for a special birthday party treat; a small juicer (such as The Healthy Juicer); a mini food processor; the Champion Juicer for making all sorts of recipes, especially banana ice cream; and a dehydrator for making crackers, veggie burgers and chips heated at low temperatures to preserve the enzymes of the food.
5. Play “Health Food Restaurant”
Let your kids be the Chefs! If you set the example, your children will love setting up counters, and preparing smoothies, juices, fruit or veggie platters, guacamole, cole slaw and beautiful salads. My children often used a doorway as their ideal place to set up their restaurant. The ironing board or a small table was the counter. Even when we traveled, we bought food for them to prepare meals for us in our hotel room, and my husband and I would be the customers, paying them for our meals.
6. Kids love dips!
I observe so many children eating their green leaves (such as kale, Romaine lettuce and spinach) and other veggies while delighting in fresh home-made dips made from fruits, vegetables and herbs such as basil, cilantro or dill, and nuts or seeds. Below are two of the many dips my children have enjoyed:
Creamy Cucumber Dill Dip
• 1 cup chopped cucumber
• 3 T soaked pine nuts (soaked a few hours)
• Juice of 1 lemon
• 2 soaked pitted dates
• cup fresh chopped dill
• 1 to 2 stalks celery
Blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy. Add more dill if desired.
No Bean Hummos
• 2 cups peeled chopped zucchini
• cup hulled sesame seeds
• Juice of 1 lemon
• 1 tsp. paprika
• 1 teaspoon sea salt (optional)
Blend sesame seeds until ground using a high power blender such as the Vita-Mix or a food processor. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy.
7. Kids adore attractive food designs that display a picture
For example, slicing a half inch thick pineapple circle can be used to make the “sun” and a bowl of orange sections makes the sun’s rays. I have used a heart-shaped stainless steel cake pan to prepare special raw treats for Valentine’s Day. I purchased different ridge-shaped cutters to make decorative trims on cucumbers, cantaloupes, peppers and carrots. Children like interesting and fun designs in food, so why not use these tools for making fun shapes with raw foods? It is also easy to find many different cookie cutter shapes and holiday designs for making cookies, cakes and other treats.
8. Use of puppetry with young children is an excellent way to introduce them to fresh, unprocessed fruits and vegetables and to encourage discussion of healthful living topics in a non-threatening play situation.
9. Traveling with your children provides an excellent learning experience and creates family bonding time.
We were always able to find fruits and vegetables during our travels to Central and South America and Europe. It was exciting to look up and identify specific fruits or vegetables in the book Fruits and Vegetables of the World by Michel Viard and then locate them in the market at each new destination.
Karen Ranzi is the author of Creating Healthy Children: Through Attachment Parenting and Raw Foods, available at www.superhealthychildren.com, Barnes & Noble, and Whole Foods Markets. You can e-mail Karen at email@example.com. Copyright 2010 Karen Ranzi
The Five Dharma Types:
Vedic Wisdom for Discovering Your Purpose and Destiny
by Simon Chokoisky
Introduction and Self-Tests
DISCOVER YOUR DHARMA TYPE!
Dharma types are individual archetypal myths–the “I AM” identity that guides each of us in subtle but definitive patterns. Today we associate the word myth with something unreal or untrue, but to our ancestors myths spoke to an enduring truth that lay beyond the ken of the senses. Our everyday world is in perpetual flux–coming into being, changing form, and dying. But myth is eternal, driven by the intelligent blueprint that underlies the mundane world of name and form.
Use the test below to discover your dharma dype. Take your whole life into consideration when choosing your answers–life cycles can make it difficult to access your essential dharma look, so look at your self from childhood to now to get a complete portrait. This should help you determine your type, or at least narrow it down sufficiently to make a determination when you read the descriptions in part 1 of this book. Enjoy!
Circle the answers that best apply to you. You may choose more than one answer for each question if applicable. Try to think of qualities that are permanent in you–how you have always been–rather than how you are at times or during recent changes in your life. Tally them at the end to determine your dharma type.
1. Circle the word that means the most to you or describes you best.
2. Circle the phrase that means the most to you or describes you best.
a. Independence and Bliss
b. Love and Devotion
c. Worldliness and Knowledge
d. Discipline and Perfection
e. Entertainment and Fun
3. Circle the phrase that means the most to you or describes you best.
a. I love being alone. Sometimes I hate people, sometimes I like them, but they usually don’t understand me.
b. I don’t mind being alone as long as I have something constructive and productive to do.
c. I love being alone. I like people, but I need time to spend by myself for quiet contemplation and rejuvenation.
d. I don’t mind being alone, as long as I have a goal to accomplish.
e. I hate being alone. I prefer the company of people, even if I don’t know them.
4. Circle the phrase that means the most to you or describes you best.
a. I like strange, dark, or wild places, remote places no one has ever thought of or been to.
b. I like the plains and wide expanses of earth. I like living close to the ground, on ground floors rather than high-rise apartments.
c. I like high and remote places. I like upper floors, high-rise buildings, and living above others looking down.
d. I like challenging places. Places that are high, but not so high as to be remote. I like fortified and strong places.
e. From the Beverly Hills to gently rolling slopes, I like places where the action is; places that are easy to get to but also exclusive. I like living in the middle ground, not too high, not too low, where there is activity and access to the world.
5. Circle the sentence that describes you best.
a. I am the rebel or black sheep of my family. As a parent, I give freedom to my kids and let them individualize themselves from others.
b. I am deeply bonded with my family. As a parent, I nurture my kids by making sure they are well fed, healthy, and content.
c. I tend to teach my family and urge them to improve themselves. As a parent, I make certain my kids learn how to think for themselves, get a good education, and understand the world.
d. I am the strong one in my family. As a parent, I lead by example and earn my kids’ respect with discipline and order.
e. I actively support my family with shelter and resources. As a parent, I provide for my kids and make sure they understand the value of money, self-effort, and making your way in the world.
6. In religion I most value the following:
a. Going my own way
b. Faith and Devotion
c. Study and Scripture
d. Penance and Discipline
e. Rituals and Observances
7. In marriage I most value the following:
a. An unconventional spouse, one who understands my particular quirks and desires.
b. A dutiful spouse who is loyal and provides for me: a woman who cooks and cleans/a man who brings home the bacon.
c. A sensitive, intelligent spouse.
d. A challenging spouse with whom I can do activities.
e. A beautiful spouse.
8. I mainly watch TV for:
a. Horror, alternative political and spiritual viewpoints, science fiction . . .the Sci-Fi, FX, Indie, and Alternative channels.
b. Family, Drama, History, and Community programs like soap operas, Reality TV, daytime shows, cartoons, entertainment gossip, and re-runs.
c. Educational, thought-provoking, human-interest stories, and entertainment . . . National Geographic, PBS, Sci-Fi, and Documentary channels.
d. Sports, Action, News & Politics, Adventure stories, and entertainment . . . ESPN, CNN.
e. Fun programs, drama, music, comedy, game shows, financial and motivational stories, and entertainment . . . HBO, Comedy Channel, Spike.
9. Under stress I tend to:
a. bend the rules or lie to get my way, feel invisible, and self-deprecate
b. become lazy, close down in my own space, and worry a lot
c. be scatterbrained, feckless, and wishy-washy
d. become anger-prone, inattentive, and reckless
e. be moody/depressed, loud, and restless
10. At my best I am:
a. A Revolutionary, an Inventor, a Genius
b. A Devoted Friend, a Hard Worker, a Caregiver
c. A Counselor, a Teacher, a Diplomat
d. A Leader, a Hero, a Risk-Taker
e. An Optimist, a Self-Starter, a Promoter, an Adventurer
Tally your answers now; the most selected letter likely reflects your Dharma Type. For confirmation you should now move on to SELF TEST 2.
Bio: Kedar N. Prasad, Ph.D., is the chief scientific officer of the Premier Micronutrient Corporation, the former director of the Center for Vitamins and Cancer Research at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and the former president of the International Society of Nutrition and Cancer. He lives in the San Francisco Bay area.
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To purchase this book visit B&N.com, Amazon.com, InnerTraditions.com, or your local bookstore. The Five Dharma Types Vedic Wisdom for Discovering Your Purpose and Destiny by Simon Chokoisky © 2014 Destiny Books. Printed with permission from the publisher Inner Traditions International. www.InnerTraditions.com
Plant Intelligence and Imaginal Realm
by Stephen Harrod Buhner
Book Excerpt: Prelude The Soft Flutter of Butterflies
I never was a good student in school–though first grade was fun. We made handprints in wet plaster and walked in the woods looking for butterflies and learned the Spanish words for chocolate and hello.
That first summer after school was wonderful. I got bright new shoes and ran and played with my friends and we flew kites whose tails fluttered in the wind and the days were as long as forever. But next year, school was different.
Our teacher stood ramrod stiff at the head of the class and she was tall and thin and the mole on her chin quivered with indignation. Her face disapproved of itself and she wrinkled her nose when she talked as if she were smelling something polite people didn’t mention. . . .
I didn’t like her very much and I began to think that school was something I would rather not do.
But when I told my mother I was informed that I didn’t have a choice in the matter and that school was good for little children and that go I would. So, the years went by, as years do, and some teachers were better and some were not and I became as unconscious as unconscious could be.
I went to university and the teacher in my first class looked like Santa Claus. . . . He told us his name was Ben Sweet (Sweet by birth, sweet by disposition) and the name of his class was “On the challenge of being human.” My other teachers did not seem to care about the challenge of being human and instead they taught us to think about mathematics and analyze different chemicals, and as the months went by I felt farther from myself. And the only thing that seemed to make sense was Ben Sweet and the way he talked to us and urged something in the deeps of us to come out. . . .
And one day, I found myself thinking that I wanted all my teachers to be like that. . . . So, I made a list of every person I had heard of that had moved me in the way Ben Sweet did and I decided I wanted to meet and learn from every one of them. . . .
Buckminster Fuller, Robert Bly, Jacques Cousteau, Robert Heinlein, Joan Halifax, Stephanie Simonton, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, William Stafford, Jane Goodall, Gregory Bateson, Eric Fromm, Frank Herbert, Ashley Montagu, Margaret Mead.
I was so young then and the world was so new and my whole life was before me.
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross was plain and tall and thin. . . . Her eyes penetrated everything they touched and they were the deepest blue and looking into them was like peering into some deep mountain pool that’s so clear you can’t tell how deep it is. Down in those deeps were things I couldn’t quite make out, things I didn’t understand . . . I could feel whatever it was deep inside, touching parts of me that I did not know I possessed. And those parts of me . . . I could feel them begin to stir under its touch.
“How did you come to your work?” someone asked.
“I was a young doctor and it was just after the war. I had heard stories of the terrible things that had happened in the concentration camps and I wanted to see for myself. So, I went to Majdanek in Poland. . . .
“By the gates there was a table and a young woman with dark, raven hair. She had to ask me several times for my name. She carefully wrote it down in the book where they kept a list of all the visitors. Then she looked up and smiled a sad, quiet smile, and waved me in. . . .
“Soon, I found myself in front of a wooden barracks. . . . I walked down the long passageways that ran between the tiers of bunks, looking around me. Then I saw–on the walls, roughly scratched, sometimes carved, into the wooden planks–hundreds of initials, and names–the last desperate messages to the living. And among those messages–I couldn’t believe it–were hundreds and hundreds of butterflies. Butterflies, everywhere. In the midst of that horror, the children had scratched butterflies into the walls!”
. . . Elisabeth looked at all of us in the room. None of us were moving. We were still, hardly breathing, caught spellbound. “I had never experienced such cruelty,” Elisabeth said, “and my heart was being crushed. But the young woman seemed oddly unaffected by it, so I said to her, ‘But you look so peaceful. How can you be peaceful when your whole family was killed here?’
“Golda looked back at me–those peaceful eyes!–and said in the most penetrating voice I had ever heard, ‘Because the Nazis taught me this: There is a Hitler inside each of us and if we do not heal the Hitler inside of ourselves, then the violence, it will never stop.’”
. . . There was something in Elisabeth’s voice that day, some invisible thing that my younger self did not consciously understand but could only feel. And it went into the depths of me and there it remains still. . . .
There is a difference I learned, long ago, between schooling and education. Do you feel it now, in the room with you?
I was never able to find it in any of my schools. But sometimes I find it in the soft flutter of butterflies, in the wildness of plants growing undomesticated in a forest clearing, in the laughter and running of young children, their hair flowing in the wind, and sometimes, sometimes I find it in the words of teachers who come among us from time to time–out there, far outside these walls, in the wildness of the world.
Bio: Stephen Harrod Buhner is the senior researcher for the Foundation for Gaian Studies. Described as both an Earth Poet and a Bardic Naturalist, he is the award-winning author of 19 books, including The Lost Language of Plants, The Secret Teachings of Plants, and Sacred Plant Medicine. He has taught for more than 30 years throughout North America and Europe. He lives in Silver City, New Mexico. Availability: Usually ships within 1-2 business days Price: $26.00 To purchase this book visit B&N.com, Amazon.com, InnerTraditions.com, or your local bookstore.Plant Intelligence and the Imaginal Realm: Beyond The Doors of Perception into the Dreaming of Earth by Stephen Harrod Buhner © 2014 Bear & Company.
Stuck Living in Mediocreland?
3 Quick Tips to Escape the Rut
by Shawn Anderson
Wake-up alarm sounds. Hit snooze button. Steal ten minutes more sleep. Groan. Get coffee. Wake kids. Take shower. Get dressed. Yell at kids. Drive to work. Slump into chair. Check email. Check Facebook. Meet deadlines. Waste time chatting. Watch clock. Check Facebook again. Sneak out early. Wait in traffic. Get groceries. Chaperone kids. Shout about homework. Make dinner. Watch TV. Go to bed. Repeat.
Of course, there is no way this sounds familiar. Right? Maybe to our friends, but never to us. Not to worry…this is for them. (The friends.)
To help those “friends” who are stuck in a life rut, motivational guru Shawn Anderson shares three quick rut-escaping tips you can provide to those who need emergency advice and are living the same day over…and over…and over:
TIP #1: Quit living in Mediocreland.
Stuck on mediocrity? Well, look in the mirror at the person responsible. It’s you. You created your average-ness…and you can un-create it, too. Want out of the rut? Quit making excuses, quit pointing fingers, and quit waiting for a miracle to fly you out of Mediocreland. If you’re ever going to leave the world of average, you need to start creating the changes you seek. Cast a vision. Create a plan. Take massive action. Passive residents are not allowed to fly.
TIP #2: Don’t expect an overnight miracle.
It’s impossible to go from “ice cold” (in the rut) to “red hot” (out of the rut) overnight. Massive change just doesn’t happen that way. Don’t expect it. Do expect, though, that you can grow to “red hot” if you hold yourself accountable to take one step a day towards the changes you want in your life. Single steps daily add up to big changes eventually.
TIP #3: Don’t wait for perfect.
Waiting for the perfect scenario to unfold before making changes? Your reasons to wait before taking action might sound good in your head now. The problem is that five years down the road those same reasons will probably still exist…and you’ll probably still be in a rut. Life is too short to wait for the stars to fall into perfect alignment before we take life action. Live and live now. Otherwise, waiting too long for the right risk-taking moment eventually leads to paralyzing fear…which leads to complacency…which leads to “I don’t care” acceptance.
The author of six motivational books, including A Better Life: An Inspiring Story About Starting Over and Extra Mile America: Stories of Inspiration, Possibility and Purpose, Shawn Anderson lives and breathes all things related to “going the extra mile” in order to live a life we love. Last year, Anderson’s Extra Mile America organization led 444 cities to declare 11/1/13 as “Extra Mile Day”… a day recognizing the capacity we each have to create positive change for ourselves, families, organizations and communities when we “go the extra mile.”
“My feeling is ‘we get one life’ so why ever choose to live it with anything less than our deepest passion and most ardent dedication? We create the life we live…one way or another,” Anderson says.
For more information about Shawn Anderson, or to subscribe to his free motivational newsletter, go to www.ShawnAnderson.com.
After his second “near death experience” Mas Sajady was given astonishingly healing and intuitive abilities. Connecting to a higher energy field has allowed him to channel and heal through the Pure Source with amazing results. Healings can be for your physical or emotional health, financial or spiritual well-being as well as for relationships of all kinds.
Mas does not have the power to heal. However, he is able to allow pure energy from a higher energy field to work through him to heal. Although his abilities have been compared to religious figures, the healings are not religious in anyway but spiritual. Mas works on all faiths and non-faiths.
Almost all of the individuals experience a significant shift and feel much better after a healing with him. In many cases, their issues have been resolved.
Mas is not a medical doctor. In the event he gives you any health suggestions, please consult your health practitioner for advice.
• Relieve Persistent Health Issues
• Supercharge Your Finances
• Heighten Relationships
• Rise to True Spirituality
• Achieve Anti-Aging & Ideal Weight
• Much More…
• Energize core self-image for rapid achievement
• Remove self-defeating patterns
• Instill the image of wealth & remove financial blocks
Mas Sajady has always been intuitively gifted. Like many others, he tried to hide or ignore his highly intuitive nature so he could “fit in”. It is for this reason that Mas has always strongly advised parents to support children who have similar affinities. It literally took two near death experiences to awaken and embrace his abilities.
His first near death experience was in his early twenties during college. Aside from the crushed jaw and torqued neck, it was the best experience he has ever had.
“The beauty, peace and love present during this experience can never compare to anything we have on earth at this physical level”, says Mas. After this experience, his intuitive abilities heightened where he was able to sense future events and internal issues of others.
At that point, family life took over where his kids and his successful web development business took center stage and his intuitive abilities were pushed aside.
His second near death experience occurred in 2006, also his second best life experience. The latter opened him to an even higher levels of awareness where miracles can and do happen. To clarify, Mas does not have the power to heal; rather he acts as the “conduit” for pure energy to manifest this healing from a higher energy field. These fundamental shifts can impact physical and emotional health, financial, spiritual and any areas of one’s relationships.
Although his abilities have been compared to religious figures, the healings have no religious significance but rather spiritual in nature. It is for this reason that Mas’ diverse community consists of clients of all faiths and beliefs.
Upon further research, he started studying similar near death experiences in order to understand this incredible shift that he was undergoing. The closest explanation he found was in the field of Quantum Physics.
The most important lessons come to him through meditations where, since his crossovers, these meditations have became even more vivid; a dream like state but wide awake and aware of his surroundings. At times, he transcends his physical body and from these meditations, gains knowledge on a multitude of subjects including spiritual and earthly matters. With time, his healing abilities have been magnified and sessions have been condensed, attaining significant shifts at the core level.
He started Transparent Self Image in November of 2009. Within less than a year, he had worked on over a thousand individuals just through referrals. Through his daily mediation sessions and frequent speaking engagements worldwide, Mas has been able to touch countless around the world. Whether it is physical or emotional health, finances, relationships or spirituality, Mas can change your frequency in order to be limitless in all aspects of your life.
7 Senseless Habits to Drop in 2014
by Shawn Anderson
SACRAMENTO, Calif., January 1, 2014 – Motivational speaker and author Shawn Anderson takes the idea of “living a life you love” seriously. With a mission of empowering one million people to lead a more positive and purposeful life, Anderson shares seven senseless habits to let go of in 2014.
Quit hanging out on Facebook.
“Facebook is a fun way to kill time,” Anderson says. “But that’s what it does: it kills time. Time that could be used to create, inspire and build.”
Quit Keeping Up With the Kardashians.
“Filling our heads with unedifying TV doesn’t do a lot to help us achieve a better life,” Anderson comments. “Instead, exchange an hour of TV time to build your own dream rather than a celebrity’s dream.”
Quit staying up late.
“The surest way to be unmotivated on a Monday is to stay up late on a Sunday. Want to feel energized? Watch a few more sunrises.”
Quit spending money you don’t have.
“Having the freedom to do what you want in life starts with not being chained down by financial obligations. Give your credit card a rest.”
Quit working at a job you hate.
“Nothing saps the life out of you more than working at a job you hate. Find something else.”
Quit hanging out with negative people.
“If you have people in your life who drain you of all that is positive, ask yourself ‘Why in the world are they even in my life?’”
Quit pointing fingers.
“Take a massive leap forward and take responsibility for where you are in your life. It’s not your boss’s fault…or your spouse’s…or the government’s that you’re not where you want to be. It’s your own cause-and-effect decisions that have you sitting where you are.”
“Why would we ever want to live a life that makes us unhappy?” Anderson says. “We read everywhere about what we need to do to be successful. But I believe if we just change a few of our habits, we’d be much closer to leading a life we love.” Anderson continues, “Sure some of the seven items on the list may sound harsh, but if we don’t stop doing them, the lousy results we will produce later will feel a lot harsher.”
The author of six books, including A Better Life: An Inspiring Story About Starting Over and Extra Mile America: Stories of Inspiration, Possibility and Purpose, Anderson is also the Founder of “Extra Mile Day.” On November 1, 2013, 444 cities in all 50 states made the declaration to recognize the capacity we each have to create positive change for ourselves, families, organizations and communities when we “go the extra mile.”
For more information about Shawn Anderson, go to www.ShawnAnderson.com. To contact Anderson directly, email Shawn@ShawnAnderson.com.
December: The Healing Power of Darkness
by Lynn Woodland
In this holiday-packed time of year one could almost overlook the deepening darkness and the inclination to hibernate that are natural to the season. People of not so many generations back used to sleep more in these long nights. Not us. We turn on the lights, indoors and out, fight nature’s pull to cozy in, and schedule the splashiest late-night parties of the year. Instead of becoming quiet and introspective, we’re more likely than ever to lose ourselves in a frenetic social whirl.
There is, of course, something miraculous and hopeful happening this time every year, something truly worth celebrating: the simple, wondrous rebirth of light where the ever-increasing darkness of fall gives way to the lengthening days of winter and spring. The many spiritual holidays celebrated within days or weeks of the winter solstice all echo our instinctive understanding of light’s importance to our physical survival and spiritual renewal.
Light is an often-used metaphor for all things wise and wonderful. We “see the light,” find “light at the end of a tunnel” and a “silver lining around every dark cloud.” It’s easy to give credit for all things good to the light and simply ignore the power of dark; darkness, with its opposite connotations of fearfulness, depression, ignorance and death.
Yet, here we are in a time of year when it’s difficult to deny the presence of darkness, as hard as we may try. What’s more, whatever we ignore inevitably has a way of sneaking up from behind and tripping us when we’re not looking. This is certainly true of those aspects of self we don’t like. The ones we keep hidden in the dark nether regions of our being because they’re too painful, too shameful, or too imperfect to admit to ourselves, let alone to other people.
So, here’s a different kind of winter solstice ritual, one that honors the moment of deepest darkness that has to happen before we can give ourselves over to the jubilant celebration of light. After all, this is the perfect time of year to give darkness its due and, for once, stop trying to ignore or artificially light it out of existence. And even though it may not inspire the cheerful exuberance of spring or summer, see if this exercise doesn’t leave you clearer, cleaner, and more ready to fully embrace the deep quiet miracle of light that is the season’s truest offering.
As a starting place, take a moment to reflect on the year that’s been, the one that’s following its natural course and ending in darkness. What are the stand-out “points of darkness” you experienced this year? The very worst of times, the biggest catastrophes, the deepest despair, the times you most want to forget ever happened?
As you recall these moments, notice the feelings these memories evoke. We tend to suppress, ignore or medicate pain out of existence in much the same way we artificially cover darkness with light. Unfortunately, all these pain-coping methods don’t make pain go away, just underground until it eventually grows too big to ignore. So instead of sending one more bit of pain to the dark, crowded storage locker of your psyche, this time simply be with it.
Notice how it feels in your body. Is it a sinking feeling in your gut? An empty place in your heart? A cloud of confusion around your head? A lump in your throat? A tense, armored feeling in your muscles? A clenched feeling in your jaw or fists? A fearfulness in your bowels? Instead of turning away from these raw places, this time give them your full attention. Notice the sensation of the feeling in your body and relax into it. Stop struggling. Stop thinking, stop trying to move on or make it go away.
Also let go of familiar interpretations and judgments you have around these feelings: “My sadness is bottomless. If I truly feel it, I’ll just fall deeper and deeper until I drown.” Or “My anger is wrong. I shouldn’t have it. It will hurt someone.” Tell yourself instead that as you stop resisting feeling, pain stops being pain and becomes something usable, something healing. Go deeply enough into these dark parts of yourself until you feel your resistance letting go, struggle being replaced by surrender, tension turning into relaxation, fear giving way to an awareness that there is nothing to fear.
Now, imagine yourself in total darkness. (Try doing this at night.) Most of us can recall middle of the night anxieties where we lay awake in bed, in the dark, and our whole world looked dismal and dangerous in a way it seldom does during the day. The darkness to imagine now is a different one altogether (or perhaps the same, but we are different). This darkness is healing.
So many of us on a spiritual path have invoked the healing power of light, but what about that of dark? Imagine darkness around you like sheltering earth around a seed. Instead of imagining light pouring into the wounded places of your soul, imagine darkness, like a mother, drawing out of you the pain, doubt, worry, resentment, confusion and fear that interfere with peace. Feel it absorbing into itself the thoughts, memories and patterns that keep you from being your true self. Let the dark take back to itself all the darkness in you so there’s nothing left but light. The light that needs no artificial or external inducement. The Inner Light that has always been there. Feel yourself in this dark like a caterpillar in its chrysalis, safe and sheltered while a miraculous flurry of transformation is quietly underway.
Last, but not least, reflect again on those moments of darkness that have occurred in your life this year and now, instead of feeling the pain, ask them to show you their hidden blessings. How have you deepened, strengthened, changed direction, reached out to others or cared more deeply for yourself? How have you learned compassion, acceptance or forgiveness? Or gained clarity, broken down barriers, found your tenderness, released stubbornness and ego, or allowed others to help you? How has your very definition of who you are changed? Give thanks for the power of darkness to polish, facet and bring out the natural brilliance of your heart.
Consider sharing with another person the story of finding great blessing in this year’s points of darkness. Let the power of your spoken word change your personal mythology, transforming defeats and losses into powerful stories of resurrection.
Lynn Woodland is author of Making Miracles-Create New Realities for Your Life and Our World, from Namaste Publishing and creator of The Miracles Course, an online coaching program for living a miraculous life. Lynn welcomes your comments: firstname.lastname@example.org.
More on her work at www.LynnWoodland.com
The Zero Point Agreement: How to Be Who You Already Are
by Julie Tallard Johnson
Everyone wants to experience purpose and inspiration in their lives, but the search for meaning often leaves a seeker in the hands of fate. Offering a different approach to self-discovery, one where we create our meaning from within rather than seek it from the outside world, Julie Tallard Johnson shows there is a science behind personal spiritual experiences and creativity. She reveals simple evidence-based methods that can be applied to any situation to generate enthusiasm, inspiration, and direct spiritual experience and transform the inner and outer landscapes of your life.
Drawing from the Heart Sutra, the I Ching, indigenous wisdom, and the teachings of the Dalai Lama, Joseph Campbell, and the Kadampa master Atisha, Johnson outlines a practice centered on what she calls the Zero Point Agreement–the realization that you are the zero point of your life, that life’s purpose comes from within. She explains how to discover who you truly are by naming what you want to be and taking steps to make it a reality. Providing 11 core principles for the Zero Point Agreement as well as thought exercises, meditations, and journaling practices, Johnson shows how to break free from negative habitual states, liberate yourself from your attachment to the behaviors of others, take full responsibility for motivation and effort, express gratitude, focus your intention, and learn to co-create with the natural world. She also explores how to transform repressed material and how to apply the Zero Point Agreement to heal both personal and global relationships.
Revealing how we can tap in to the creative, creational power that lies within and around each of us, Johnson offers a spiritual technology for self-illumination, creative restructuring of your life, and manifestation of your life’s purpose. This is what bestselling author Parker J. Palmer had to say about The Zero Point Agreement, “In this beautiful book, Julie Tallard Johnson–a gifted teacher and writer–brings fresh insight to an ancient truth: each of us must live from the inside out. This book–full of resources that range from heart-deep insight to helpful, practical exercises–can help us reclaim the treasure-trove of our own experience and being”.