Weeping Willow Tree’s Strength and Flexibility Inspiration for Meditation – Amy Ivy
A weeping willow empowers personal strength and awareness in a nature-based guided meditation.
Weeping willow trees are common sights by lakes. Their pendulous branches float effortlessly in the wind, and their roots run deep seeking sustenance. For someone experiencing stress, grief, conflict, or other difficulties that prevent the self from enjoying life, imitating the willow’s flexibility and persistence may increase self-empowerment.
Preparing for the Weeping Willow Guided Meditation
Set aside ten to twenty minutes. Minimize distractions by turning off the cell phone and putting other obligations on hold. Take off your shoes, so that your feet are either bare on in socks. Drink some water to prevent dehydration. The meditation may be performed sitting or standing, depending upon what’s more comfortable for you.
Close your eyes and settle comfortably into a position where your body won’t disturb you for the following meditation:
Be careful not to get up too soon, as your body may not move as quickly as desired. Instead, spend several more minutes reflecting on the experience and any personal insights gained from it.
Variations of the Weeping Willow Guided Meditation for Self-Empowerment
For additional reflection, try the following variations and activities after meditating with the willow:
With a simple guided meditation exercise, the natural beauty and strength of a weeping willow tree can inspire and empower for relaxation and increased self-awareness.
There is nothing like new sheets made with certified organic cotton. The fabric is a new innovation for consumers interested in buying into the Global Oganic Textile Standard (GOTS). This cotton is grown without chemicals and pesticides and needs to pass a certification process by the recognized and independent organization known as GOTS. It is supplied by communities that use traditional farming methods based on whole earth practices.
Sleeping on natural sheets that are produced through a clean and environmentally safe process can help consumers buy locally while thinking globally; one of the small steps towards making a transition to a cleaner, safer home environment.
Cost of Organic Cotton and the Environmentally Conscious Home
Plan on spending anywhere from $90 for a set of organic sheets to upwards of $100 per sheet depending on the quality. Putting into practice an eco-friendly lifestyle often requires some interaction between the product design, its components and the human dimension.
Buying into the concept and product line is the first step. Next are influential sources such as books on managing an eco-friendly home that could help the consumer to transform their surroundings and the time, cost management needed.
Creating an Eco-Friendly Home Environment
The challenge of creating a healthy home environment and lifestyle requires some committment, but it can translate into a lifelong practice. Buying items like environmentally friendly packaging and water-friendly washing detergent over a lifetime can be a personal lifestyle choice that can achieve the kind of small impacts that begin as a trickle and eventually grow to a flood.
There are lots of books and consumer products to help consumers make wise choices. Implementing the plan and living the lifestyle requires more than just a good price and good product; it requires commitment. There are so many choices available, and deciding what works for everyone is never easy.
Implementing Greener Lifestyle Choices
Browse the stores and websites to find the right product at the right price and then see what happens. Saving money by shopping for a sale price can have a big impact on the decision to redesign a home with organic products. Living an environmentally conscious lifestyle usually requires simplification and streamlining. Decide which areas of the home environment can be restyled with organic products to implement a lifestyle decision.
Evaluating an Environmentally Conscious Lifestyle
Make the purchases needed to create a lifestyle based on sound eco-friendly practices can have other benefits as well. An individual’s lifestyle change can eventually bring about larger changes and help bring about a truly eco-friendly textile industry.
The brain produces an electrical current that pulsates at a particular frequency. Delta occurs during deep sleep at .5-4 cycles per second; Theta during Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep at 4-8 cycles per second; Alpha during a relaxed, wakeful state at 8-13 cycles per second; and Beta during a regular waking activity at 13-39 cycles per second.
Alpha frequency, which produces feelings of well-being, is increasingly recognized as a helpful reference point for mental relaxation.
The Silva Method and Training in Alpha
Jose Silva spent decades researching the creative and rejuvenating effects of living in the Alpha state; after concluding that Alpha held tremendous potential for discovering one’s true purpose, shedding negative habits and relieving stress and anxiety, Silva developed a comprehensive course of training.
The Silva Ultramind ESP System uses a guided meditation backed by a rhythmic sound to train the mind in the alpha state. After attuning oneself to the alpha frequency, the instructors attest that one will be able to alleviate stress, contact higher intelligence for guidance, and use vivid imagery to make goals manifest.
What are Biofeedback Devices?
When the term ‘biofeedback’ was first coined in the 1960s, it was hoped to eliminate the need for medicine. While that has proven untrue, biofeedback is a powerful tool for relieving stress in a long-lasting way – without the need for pharmaceuticals.
Biofeedback refers to using measurements of biological indicators, such as temperature, to change conditions in the body. Recently, the use of a particular class of biofeedback devices for training the mind and relieving stress has come into vogue; these devices provide data on such factors as skin temperature and muscle tension, which relate to stress levels and their associated brain waves.
The Benefits of Training in Biofeedback Therapy
Adults function mainly at the beta level while awake, and the beta state is where people can feel stressed and anxious. For optimal functioning, people could spend most of their time at Alpha; Alpha is restoring and relaxing for the body and mind, while beta is only optimal for involved thinking and times of high activity. Biofeedback therapy provides the biological indicators for people to habituate themselves to the alpha state.
Natural Stress Relief with Wild Divine
Wild Divine produces biofeedback training games for PC and Mac, which immerse the player in a sumptuous and relaxing world of colour and music. The Journey to Wild Divine: The Passage and Wisdom Quest presents a narrative that includes numerous biofeedback training activities. Relaxing Rhythms uses a non-linear format with various modules to centre the mind and deepen one’s familiarity with the alpha state.
The Ferber Method is a sleep technique for infants developed by pediatrician Dr. Richard Ferber that encourages infants to use “self-soothing” techniques to achieve a better night’s sleep. Ferberization is suggested for infants at least 6 months old and has been cited as a highly successful sleep training method for babies that have difficulty sleeping through the night.
Step 1: PROVIDE BABY WITH DAYTIME ACTIVITIES
Ensure that baby’s day is full of fun and exploration so that the infant will indeed be tired at nighttime. Excessive napping during the day can sabotage your efforts for getting baby to bed as they will already be rested. One tactic is to not allow your infant to sleep past 5pm, but the exact time will depend on baby’s wake time, nap schedule, and ideal bedtime.
Step 2: DEVELOP A BEDTIME RITUAL
It’s important that baby can distinguish between daytime (play) and bedtime (sleep). To do this you will need to develop a bedtime ritual that helps the infant calm down and prepare for a good nights sleep. One example of this would be a relaxing bath, story time, and a lullaby followed by goodnight kisses from Mom and Dad. Other popular bedtime rituals include infant massage, lavender scented bubble bath, the playing of a Heartbeat CD, or even listening to a song on a crib mobile. It doesn’t matter which bedtime activities you decide to include, but ensure that the room is dark enough to signal its nighttime, that baby is warm but not too hot, and that the crib is free from any toys that may be distracting.
Step 3: LEAVE BABY IN BED AND LEAVE THE ROOM
At this point you will have completed your planned bedtime rituals and baby is dressed, diaper changed, and ready for bed. Let baby know it is time to sleep and quietly leave the room without hesitation. Your infant may start to cry and become upset, but it is important to leave the room without emotionally reacting to him or her.
Step 4: FOLLOW A “PROGRESSIVE WAITING” SCHEDULE
This final step is critical to success with the Ferber Method and the cornerstone of Dr. Ferber’s sleep training technique. “Progressive waiting” is the practice of progressively waiting longer and longer between comforting the baby at bedtime to encourage the infant to learn how to soothe itself to sleep. For example, on the first night you may wait three minutes before returning to baby’s crib and reassuring him/her and that it is time for sleep. Do not lift the infant out of its crib, but simply comfort the child with pats on the back, stroking of their hair, or giving the baby his pacifier. After briefly comforting the baby, once again leave the room as before. However, instead of waiting only three minutes before re-entering the room, wait five minutes instead. Keep practicing the “progressive waiting” at intervals such as 7 minutes, 9 minutes, and so on until baby falls asleep. The first night will most likely be the hardest, but with time baby will learn to soothe itself to sleep without your intervention.
Bring the baby into the room where she will sleep.
Keep the stimulus level low. Turn on a dim light, talk in soft voices if at all, and cut out any possible distractions that may exist, no mobile, music, toys, or playing with the baby.
Make sure that the baby has a clean diaper and then swaddle him.
Feed the baby then burp her on your shoulder. If you breastfeed pump some milk in the morning to give to your baby at night because breast milk is much richer in the morning and will satisfy your baby more.
Once you are done burping, keep the baby on your shoulder, do not hold in your arms. This eliminates the feeling of being held tight. If you hold the baby in your arms, she gets accustomed to the warmth and closeness this provides and expects to feel so snug, however, once you lay the baby down she soon realizes that she is missing that security and wakes up.
Once the baby is asleep, directly lay him down. Do not rock, sway, or create any extra movement because the baby will expect to feel it while sleeping. If the baby begins to wake up or get fussy, place your hand on his stomach until he drifts off again.
Hop into bed and enjoy your two to four hours of sleep until the next round starts. When the day begins, now you can hold your baby in your arms, rock, sway, dance, sing and play!
Bad breath, also known as halitosis, affects everyone at some point, but for many people is a long-term problem. There are endless factors that can cause bad breath, such as bad oral hygiene, smoking, dry mouth, diet factors and dental problems such as tooth decay and gum disease.
The most important step in treating bad breath is treating the cause. Oftentimes this takes time, such as dental work or diet changes. It’s also important to make sure to follow proper oral hygiene. However, there are also some simple methods can be used to help with bad breath. This includes homeopathy, which is a form of alternative medicine. Homeopathy works to help treat bad breath that is caused by specific factors, making it more effective than most general treatments for bad breath.
Mercurius Solubilis and Pulsatilla for Bad Breath
The homeopathic medicine known as mercurius solubilis should be taken by those with offensive bad breath that is caused by tooth decay. This homeopathic treatment works especially well if the tongue is coated in yellow and the person has excess salivation. Ideally around 30C potency of mercurius solubilis should be taken twice daily.
The homeopathic medicine known as pulsatilla should be taken by those with bad breath that is sour. Oftentimes this bad breath is caused be eating lots of foods that are high in fat, so this treatment works best for those with a high fat diet. This treatment works especially well for those that eat a lot of meat, especially meat that is high in fat such as red meats. Ideally around 30C potency of pulsatilla should be taken twice per day.
Nux Vomica for Bad Breath
The homeopathic remedy known as nux vomica should be taken by those with bad breath that is accompanied with either heartburn or constipation. This treatment works best for those with bad breath that drink a lot of alcohol, or have bad breath that is caused or worsened by drinking alcohol. Ideally around 30C potency of nux vomica should be taken twice per day.
Although homeopathy can be very helpful with the treatment of bad breath, it should always be used along with proper oral hygiene. Homeopathic remedies are readily available at many grocery stores, especially large chains and natural based grocery stores. Although homeopathic medicines require no professional diagnosis, it is easy to find a licensed homeopath that can assist in finding the best homeopathic remedies for an individual.
The history of life on earth is littered with evolutionary mistakes, natural disasters and mass extinctions.
It is thought by some that human beings are the pinnacle of creation, an example of evolutionary perfection that was an inevitable consequence of the development of life. In reality, this view couldn’t be further from the truth.
Human beings are no more and no less evolved than any other species on earth. Homo sapiens have evolved to cope with certain environments and perform particular tasks. A bat, for example, is just as evolved, but has developed to live in a very different environment.
Accidental Development of Species
If all life on Earth became extinct tomorrow and the whole evolutionary process began again, Homo sapiens would not eventually re-evolve in several billion years time. There have been literally trillions of accidental events that led to the existence of all current life on the planet.
Take, for example, the mass extinction of the dinosaurs, 65 million years ago. It is now accepted by scientists that this event was caused by the impact of a meteor, in what is today the Gulf of Mexico.
Up until this point, the ancient ancestor of Homo sapiens was a small, shrew-like mammal that generally kept a low profile in the shadow of its larger reptilian cousins. It was not until the dinosaur population was decimated, that the mammals could evolve into new areas and start on the path to humanity.
Other mass extinctions are also known to science. These too shaped the future state of all life on Earth.
The Role of Chance Extinction
Beyond natural catastrophes such as meteor impacts and ice ages, many other chance factors have shaped life on Earth. One mechanism of evolution is mutation. This is where mistakes appear in the genetic code of an organism, and this alteration leads to some form of physical difference.
The vast majority of mutations are either harmful or have no effect at all. Some, however, are beneficial. This benefit leads the organism to have a better chance of survival, and consequently reproduce more. This beneficial mutation is then passed on to the next generation, which also have an increased chance of survival.
The key point here is that mutation is random. Human beings have well developed eyes thanks to a series of chance mutations, but those mutations were haphazard. Evolution does not plan for the future, and so if an immediate advantage is less than a perfect design, so be it. This has led to Homo sapiens having a blind spot, the area on the retina where the optic nerve enters the eye. Other animals, for example some squid, do not have a blind spot. This is purely down to chance mutation.
The fact that through hundreds of millions of years of extinction, mutation, suffering and pain, Homo sapiens exist is something amazing that shouldn’t be underestimated. For billions of years, life on earth had no need for the level of intelligence that leads to civilisation, and if humanity disappeared tomorrow, it may never happen again.
This underscores the importance of protecting the planet and life on earth, to make sure that the incredible series of chance of events that have brought humanity to this point was all worth it.…
Recently, pesticides have been in the news more often than usual. That is because there have been new studies coming out proving pesticides cause symptoms of ADHD, increased risk for cancer, autism, and birth defects.
We don’t usually think about this when picking out apples at the grocery store or eating blueberries at a cookout. We tend to trust that no one would put dangerous chemicals into our food. These recent studies, done by the University of Montreal, the National Academy of Sciences, and numerous physicians around the world, have come to many of the same conclusions. Pesticides are harmful to humans and cannot be as easily washed of as we believe. They can cause learning disabilities in our children and cancers in adults. They can cause birth defects when eaten too often during pregnancy.
There are many things you can do to lessen your exposure to chemical pesticides. One it to use an organic, plant based pesticide on any garden or lawn you keep. Peeling your skinned fruit and veggies is another way to avoid harmful chemicals. Because most of the nutrients and anti-oxidants from these foods are found in the skin, buying organic would be optimal. Organic fruits and vegetables can be found in grocery stores and are always labeled “USDA Organic”. You can also often find organic produce at nearby farms. This would also help small businesses in your area thrive.
Some fruits and vegetables cannot simply be washed of the pesticides. The USDA did studies on which produce has the highest amount of pesticides. Here is a list of foods to always buy organic in order to reduce your exposure:
Buying organic produce can be difficult for many reasons. Some being they are not even available or they are too expensive. Keep in mind that consumers have the control. Vote with your pocket book. Organic produce is continuing to decline in price because it’s increasing in popularity. The more we buy organic, the more will be available at a cheaper price.
There are many farms who need people to buy shares of the farm. These farms are called co-op farms or Community Supported Agriculture farms. The way they work is by charging an upfront fee of around $400 dollars. This is a once a year cost. Then you pick up organic produce weekly. You can get anywhere from 2-6 bags of produce a week. Most CSA’s run from May to November.
Get creative and don’t give up. A goal of an organic diet can take a year to achieve. But it will be worth it and you will notice a great difference. Not to mention you will feel great about doing your part on this planet by helping reduce the amount of chemicals sprayed onto the soil.
Meditation is a listening process that has been around us for thousand years, and is mentioned everywhere regardless of religions. Due to the fact that humans have two ears and only one mouth, we should listen twice as often as we speak. However, some people are always in the talk mode and enjoy talking, and many people can’t stand silence and even sleep with the television on all night. That’s why we increasing need meditation to help us.
Imagine if you would be listening to a full-integrated 78-person-Orchestra and watching as each instrument stops playing until just one single violin is left playing by itself, and we are listening carefully for that single note, all else is silent. The idea of being still and quiet does not appeal to many people who fill the air with noise. But at any one time there must be about fifty million people in the world who are meditating so we know that we are joining a large group and partaking of that energy.
The mystics tell us in their writings that we live in a “closed” system where nothing (energy) is ever lost. The “cosmic mind” that surrounds the planet earth contains every thought that ever was and this is why inventions occur in many places at the same time, as people tap into the cosmic mind from wherever they happen to be. They all get it at the same eureka moment.
Isaac Bentov’s book called “Stalking the wild pendulum” demonstrates how we can be two places at once, and that the pendulum is actually our heartbeat. Each time the pendulum swings to one end and stops to return back, the heart is stopping beating before it swings back. At that moment we can flip out and be in another place altogether, such as another city. This is how mystics appear in two places at the same time.
Stopping time and living longer. When the heart comes to rest, we do not age. This is why people who meditate appear younger than those who don’t. We are actually stopping time and living longer.
Alice Bailey, the author of some thirty gigantic books on esoteric subjects such as the “The Seven Rays” stated that we have a finite Number of breaths allotted to us, and to breathe deeply and live longer. Those of us who take short breaths will use up our allotment sooner, which ties in with smokers dying younger because of shorter breaths, makes sense.
When we meditate, we take deeper breaths and thus prolong our life. What we hear in our meditations. As we sit in the silence we receive ideas, thoughts, inspirations, messages that are answers to our questions that have been posed by our subconscious mind, which have been sitting there waiting to get out. In fact, if we pose a question and then listen for the answer, we will find that we do have all the answers if we take the time to listen. This brings up the point of the quickest way to get in the zone.
If we meditate in a symmetrical way, that is, at the same time and place each day, we build up an energy vortex in that spot so that when we get into that space, we are in the zone, and can connect much faster than having to energize a new place.
Other energy boosters are devices such as crystals that are really batteries with their own energy added to our energy.
People do meditation for a vast array of reasons. One reason is to look deep into one’s self and reflect. A way to do this is with the use of Tarot cards. The following visualization meditation is good for gaining insight and problem solving.
Preparing to Meditate on a Tarot Card
Begin by selecting a Tarot card. If a deck of cards isn’t owned, a quick Internet search will produce a variety of sites that will have pictures and definitions of the cards. Simply find a card that appeals to you. Please keep in mind that the card will have one meaning straight up and another if reversed. Once a card has been selected and the meaning has been read, it will be time to start the meditation.
How to Begin a Tarot Card Meditation
Hold the chosen card and study it. Try to memorize as many details as you can. After two to three minutes, put the card down and get into a comfortable sitting position while keeping the back upright. With eyes closed, begin to take relaxing, deep breaths.
Next, envision the card in the mind’s eye. Try to recall as many details as possible. If attainable, envision yourself as being part of the card. Continue to do this for a couple of minutes until it feels like every part of the card has been experienced
Experiencing Insight Meditation
It’s now time to concentrate on the meaning of the card. What kind of meaning does this card have in your life? For example, let’s say the strength card came up. This card represents not only physical strength, but inner strength as well. If using this card, think of problems that have been overcome in the past due to courage.
Remember what it felt like to draw inner strength for courage. Is there any thing happening in life that would require drawing from this inner strength? While thinking about this, see if any ideas enter the mind. Often, answers to questions and problems will come while in a relaxed state of meditation.
No matter which card is chosen for a meditation, think about the meaning and the positive effects it has had in life, then reflect on the meaning when the card is reversed and what can be done to help improve life.
How to End a Meditation
When finished reflecting on the card, take a minute to clear the mind and just focus on the breathing. When ready, open the eyes, slowly get up, and resume the activities of the day. Feel free to do this meditation any time some insight is needed.
A Tarot card meditation not only allows for a visualization exercise, but provides an opportunity to gain deep insight. What makes this such an interesting meditation is that although the formula for the meditation is the same, the meditation will be different each time depending on which card is chosen.