I have struggled with the organic food prices for awhile. On the one hand I would love to only eat organic foods and foods and groceries from local farmers. I want to support my local economy and businesses. However, I have four children and the portions are ridiculously small for a family of five. There is barely enough in one package for two of my children, let alone all four of them. I realize they are smaller for a reason and there is less processing, which is great. They are natural, fewer additives and preservatives, and more natural vitamins and minerals in them. However, none of that does any good if the portion is so small it will never fill my children or myself up. Compound the small sizes with the grossly high prices. Again, I realize the prices are higher because they are not made in bulk, they do come from private farmers, and they are not processed foods. But, again the size is bad enough, but the price is like being slapped in the face. Reason one as to why I rarely eat organic or feed my children organic foods. As much as I would like to at times and I think that maybe somehow they would get something more by me doing so, I simply can not afford it.
Then there is the other problem I do have with organic foods, that besides the extremely high prices and very tiny portions, is that some of the foods are just not very good. Now I know that my taste buds are not use to organic foods and that maybe over time they would adapt to all natural foods, versus highly processed foods. However, explaining why the cereal does not taste the same to a 2 year old is a loosing battle. As for myself, it just does not taste good and as much as I know that I will get over that at some time, the small portions and high prices, make swallowing the food even harder. Reason number two as to why I don’t buy more organic foods.
I guess when it really comes down to it, I would love to buy organic, but I also realize that I can’t afford it, the portions are not reasonable and the quality just is not there. Paying a higher price does not always mean better quality either. Many foods can be listed as organic, because the rules for organic foods are not that strict and the standards are not that high. I just am not willing to pay those prices for organic foods. My family is too large and realistically it just is not good money management to spend three times the going price for food items, because their package says organic.
While meditation is still fairly new to the Western world, it has long been practiced in the Eastern world. One discovery made is that meditation can help develop psychic powers. One of those powers is telekinesis which is the ability to move an object with the mind.
A very popular form of telekinesis has been spoon bending, popularized by Jack Houck. However, for now, let’s start with something more simple.
How to Be Psychic
When working on psychic development, practice is very important. In one way or another, psychic abilities involve the mind. In order to keep the mind clear, use meditation as a tool. Meditation can also play a key role when trying to learn telekinesis.
When learning how to do telekinesis, start with trying to move a lightweight object. For this experiment, use a small pencil. Place a piece of paper on the table. Put a small pencil on the piece of paper. Trace the pencil on the paper in order to track its movement.
It’s best to already know basic meditation in order to use meditation for telekinesis development. Otherwise, the following meditation may not be successful. If you have never meditated before, learn some of the basics in the articles Sitting Meditation and Breathing Meditation.
Begin by staring at the pencil. Make sure you burn the image into your mind. Now, sitting with good posture, allow your eyes to close and start taking relaxing, deep, slow long breaths. Clear your mind of all thoughts. Once you feel relaxed and focused, envision the pencil in your mind.
Using your mind only, try to roll the pencil. Visualize the pencil physically moving. Imagine part of your energy being transferred to the pencil in order to help it move. When you think you were able to psychically see the pencil move, end the meditation, open your eyes and see if you were successful.
Don’t be disappointed if nothing happened. Meditation skills and psychic development both take time and practice. An alternative to this experiment is to use a feather. Caution needs to be taken that you are far enough away from the feather that your breathing doesn’t cause it to move.
Many forms of psychic skills can be learned with the aid of meditation. Psychic meditation is a great way to try to learn telekinesis. Long practiced in the Eastern world, meditation can help develop other psychic abilities as well.
Difficult people or times in a relationship are an unfortunate part of life. The following three meditations protect from such encounters, so one feels empowered and aware instead of drained and scared.
Judith Orloff’s Heart Meditation
Dr. Judith Orloff, psychiatrist and energy healer, recommends focusing on one’s own heart to boost energy, especially when dealing with difficult people.
The following adaptation of Orloff’s Three Minute Heart Meditation focuses on the beat of one’s own heart.
The heart meditation can be practiced anywhere or anytime one has a free hand. One may desire to try it during or before a conversation with a difficult person to see how the exercise changes one’s perspective on the situation.
Blocking the effects of a negative person or encounter can prevent one from feeling drained and hopeless. The following visualization invites one to visualize a protective shield between him/her and a difficult person or situation.
When the threat has passed, or when one feels in control of the situation again, breathe in the shield of light, knowing that one can exhale it again at any time when needed.
Thich Nhat Hanh’s Compassion Meditation
Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace advocate Thich Nhat Hanh recommends seeing a situation through another’s eyes to increase compassion and understanding. The following adaptation of Hanh’s Compassion Meditation can be practiced in two parts, focusing on one’s own feelings surrounding a situation and focusing on the difficult person’s feelings.
Try this meditation to increase awareness about a difficult or frustrating relationship. The exercise works best with a person one knows well. Note that this meditation will invite deep reflection and self-awareness that may not necessarily be relaxing, though it certainly will bring healing in a relationship.
This meditation may bring up information that is useful for personal reflection. Keeping a journal or piece of paper nearby may also be helpful.
Draining people are a part of life, but with meditation, their negative effects can be minimized.
What makes you happy? If you’re not as happy as you’d like to be, how do you decide what to do to become happier?
Though there are many things people acquire in search of happiness, you’ve probably found that new material possessions make you happier for a brief time, but that quickly fades. Psychologists call this hedonic adaptation, a fancy name signifying people adjust to new things. If something new brings a burst of happiness, it won’t last long—the newness and the happiness it brought wear off.
There is a way, though, that you can systematically decide on a course of action to find greater happiness. The things most likely to increase your happiness won’t be found on The Shopping Channel or display shelves of a store. Instead of looking around for sources of greater happiness, psychologists and spiritualists agree that you should be looking within.
Tapping the Source: Using the Master Key System for Abundance and Happiness (Sterling Publishing, 2010) updates Charles Haanel’s Master Key System, published in 1912. Tapping the Source authors William Gladstone, Richard Greninger, and John Selby have modernized Haanel’s rendition of the necessary ingredients for happiness.
The Ingredients of Happiness
According to Tapping the Source authors, the following ingredients are necessary for a person to feel happy:
How do you use this list? Though reading through it may give you ideas about things that will make you happier, the authors suggest a more certain and powerful way to select areas for increasing your happiness.
Learn Meditation for Greater Happiness
The path to finding greater happiness winds through meditation. The authors maintain that each person’s source of wisdom and energy is internal. To gain access to the natural, internal wisdom about yourself and what you need, you must first quiet your mind through meditation.
While your mind is quiet in meditation mentally examine the ingredients of happiness. Your internal wisdom will point out the areas that will bring you greater happiness. This can only occur when your mind is quiet, otherwise your ego will respond to your queries for happiness solutions with the latest marketing pitches you’ve witnessed—a new car, the latest smartphone, sparkling jewelry, a promising new relationship, or a new career.
Though the benefits of meditation are well known, many people have difficulty quieting their minds sufficiently to reap meditation’s benefits. Failing to quiet your mind while mentally examining the happiness ingredient list will sabotage this effort, too.
The authors provide an easily implemented suggestion that should enable you to quiet your mind so your meditation is pleasant and effective. Readers having difficulty with meditation due to an over-active mind can find this technique in Learn Meditation: Positive Affirmations and the Law of Attraction.
Your Secrets of Happiness
What it takes to make you happier is already within you. The secret to your happiness is to look within while meditating on the ingredients of happiness summarized in this article.
Our breath has the power to indulge the mind and the body into a serenity space. Breathing gently brings the mind and body into a state of peace, while is powerfully nourishing each cell in our body filling us with life. The Healing Breath Therapy is one branch of what most people know as Rebirthing.
What is Rebirthing?
Rebirthing was originated by Leonard Orr in 1962. The breathing technique that Orr developed was based on the healing of his own birth trauma. A few years later, Sondra Ray begins working together with Leonard Orr and both worked towards the expansion of Rebirthing. This therapy helps in the healing of the trauma a new born experiences. After healing birth or the early years of a child, most people feel healthy, with mental clarity and emotional well-being.
The Modern Version of Rebirthing
Today, Healing Breath Therapy is the modern version of Rebirthing. The Healing Breath Therapy uses a diversity of breathing techniques to enhance the well-being, emotionally and physically. “The Healing Breath Therapy is a breathing process that helps to bring emotions, memories, and heal those emotions through the process of breathing,” explained Rev. Rael Flamenco D.D.PhD., Rebirther for more than 25 years.
This breathing therapy has become an interesting healing process to restore the physical and emotional health. Like in Rebirthing, every Healing Breath Therapy session is unique. No session can be the same, even for the same person. Every session works towards the empowerment of each individual by liberating any harmful thoughts and memories. “Each technique is developed to make a vibration in your body to release whatever is blocking your life from happiness,” said Rev. Flamenco.
“People are restricted to show emotions, such as anger or happiness, and this is repressing their natural spiritual system. People have a tendency to suppress their feelings since childhood. People grow up repressing themselves and pleasing other people,” continued Rev. Flamenco.
Healing Breath Exercise
1.Find a comfortable space to sit.
2.Close the eyes and start breathing in and out through the nostrils. Inhale and feel the ribs and stomach expand. Exhale and feel the movement of the ribs and stomach contracting.
3.Listen to the breath going in and out. The body will start relaxing while feeling the rhythm in your ribs and stomach from the breath.
4.Choose an affirmation, something easy or simply a word. Start repeating the affirmation and keep breathing.
5.To finish the exercise, start slowly moving your arms and legs and then open the eyes.
“At the moment a person starts consciously breathing, he or she is closing the door to the outside and focusing on itself,” said Rev. Flamenco.
The most important thing in Rebirthing or the Healing Breath Therapy is the comfort and respect to the person who is experiencing the Breath Therapy. This is why it is very important to know the certification and experience of the rebirther or the instructor of any kind of Breath Therapy.
Meditation is an ancient spiritual practice, central to many spiritual traditions such as Yoga, Buddhism and Christian mysticism. This article explains the basic steps to meditation.
Any posture that is both comfortable and keeps the spine upright is suitable for meditation. Sitting postures are ideal. The important thing is that the posture is stable and can be held comfortably during the whole meditation session. Suitable meditation postures are listed in one of the links at the end of this article. Once you’ve settled in your sitting posture, begin by consciously relaxing the whole body.
The next step is to simply observe the breathing. Watch your breath as it moves through your nostrils or be aware of the rhythmic movements of your belly. Whenever the mind starts to wander and begins its habit of daydreaming, planning, recalling or imagining, simply bring it back to the breath as soon as you become aware of the distraction. Distractions will happen a lot and you may find you have recapitulated your whole day at work or relived a recent movie before you realize it.
Most forms of meditation require a meditation object. This can either be your breath, a mantra, a mental or physical image or an idea. In meditation, one concentrates on the chosen meditation object without straining the mind. Whenever your attention wanders somewhere else, gently bring it back to the meditation object. Although these moments of distraction will be very numerous, you will develop a deeper awareness of what goes on in your mind and the senses will turn inward. Find out more about meditation objects in one of the links below.
Basic Rules for Meditation
Set aside a regular time for meditation, for example 20 minutes every evening. Choose a quiet, clean and orderly place. If you wish, you can meditate in front of a little altar, a picture or a plain wall. Don’t expect immediate results – the positive effects of meditation may take some time to make themselves felt and they may be too subtle to notice immediately. Having distracting thoughts is completely normal. After all, meditation is about becoming more aware of what’s going on in your mind and not necessarily about having no thoughts at all.
Eventually, you will be aiming at extending your meditation to the whole day. This doesn’t require you to sit cross-legged for hours on end – it’s enough to continue with about 20 minutes of sitting meditation or whatever amount of time you choose to dedicate to sitting meditation. However, you should try to consciously extend the meditative state to other activities. This is done by being mindful of whatever you’re doing rather than daydreaming or allowing the endless chatter of the mind to accompany you all day long.
Meditation Brings Happiness
Meditation can become an invaluable companion in life. Rather than changing anything on the outside, meditation allows you to shift the way you perceive the world and yourself. If practiced regularly and properly, meditation can be a powerful instrument of personal transformation. It should ideally be practiced under the supervision of an experienced meditation teacher.
There are different ways a person can practice mindfulness meditation. For this guided meditation, the focus is on food. After all, who doesn’t love food!?
The Power of Meditation
Paying attention and focusing on all five senses is a great way to improve a person’s concentration. To begin this meditation, wash your hands. See the washing of the hands as getting rid of any negativity of the day. While preparing the food, focus only on the food.
Notice the colors, the scents, and the textures of the food. Not only can mindfulness meditation increase awareness, it can also increase a person’s memory and help with concentration. This is why it’s important to stay focused on the food.
While preparing the food, think about who the food is being made for. With each step of washing, chopping, and stirring, envision the food fulfilling each individual at the table with love. Listen to the sound of the food as it’s being prepared, focusing on the freshness of the food. When presenting the food, do it with making the food on the plate look beautiful.
Vaastu Tip for Meditating With Food
Vaastu is the ancient Hindu practice having to do with placement.
While preparing food, it is suggested that it is best done while facing east. The reason behind this is? The east is associated with the sun. Think of this as a way to bring harmony to the food.
Before taking the first bite, look at the colors of the prepared food. Do they bring about any emotional response? Take a moment to relax your mind. When ready, take the fork and pick up the first bite. Notice how much food is on the fork. Is there excess food falling off the fork? Be sure to take small amounts of food and eat slowly, paying attention to each bite.
What does the texture of the food feel like? How does it smell? What kind of flavor does the food have? Is it sweet, sour, or spicy? Are you eating slowly enough to appreciate the flavor of each bite? All too often people eat way too quickly and don’t bother to fully appreciate the taste and flavor of the what they’re consuming. Eating should be about enjoyment.
From time to time, put the fork, close the eyes and think about all that is being experienced. Think about the work and love that went into creating the meal and the enjoyment that is being experienced by all whom are eating it.
Mindfulness meditation is all about slowing down and experiencing everything one does with each of the five senses. People are in such a hurry these days that they forget to slow down and experience some of the most simple and enjoyable things in life. Learning how to experience all aspects of things in life can lead to better focus and concentration in school, the workplace, and around the home.
There is no way to truly teach meditation. The most one can hope is to properly facilitate the process, model a proper environment and note techniques aimed at allowing learning to occur from the act of meditation itself.
Listed below are a few simple suggestions designed to help begin the discipline of a meditation practice. (The ideas in this article are indicative of the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta approach to meditation and yoga.)
Practice Meditation on a Regular Basis
By creating and sticking to a regular daily meditation time, the mind begins to expect the practice of meditation and will start calming before the sitting begins. This is important because the mind likes to jump around and any assistance in aiding the distraction is welcomed. Preparing the mind to slow and settle will provide a head start in the initial struggle for peace.
Create an Area for Meditation Purposes Only
It is recommended to set aside an entire room for meditation purposes only. If this is unlikely, create a portioned-off section, one that is used solely for meditation. This will keep the area free from other vibrational disturbances. Pure, calm energy is important, because the mind can attach to any external intrusions. The area should have a nice smell, incense or fresh air, and an image, visible to the practitioner, that invokes a sense of well-being. As taught by Swami Sivananda, as meditation is repeated, the powerful essence created by the meditation will stay in the area – making it a restful refuge for the practitioner to visit during times of duress.
Begin Meditation with a Ritual
Command the mind to be quiet for a specific amount of time before mediation begins. The intent is to lose stressful connections to the past, present and future. Then begin with a prayer, a movement, a chant, or a mantra, aligning the mind to something held sacred.
Use Conscious Breathing throughout the Meditation Practice
By regulating the breath and placing awareness on the inhale and exhale, it becomes easier to detach from initial mind chatter clambering for attention. It is advised to begin with about five minutes of deep abdominal breathing. This doses the brain with oxygen. Then relax the breath to an easy, yet conscious, inhale and exhale lasting the duration of the practice.
Mental Ease and Meditation
Allow thoughts to wander at first – it is natural for the mind to jump around. Forcing stillness will exacerbate the process. Ease the thoughts, focusing on an object, symbol, or mantra. And if the mind persists in scattered motions, simply watch it – attempting not to judge. Simply observe.
What is meditated “on”, if anything, is an individual choice. What works perfectly for one, may not be right for another. This may take trial and error. Be patient with the self.
Begin the meditation practice working within 20-minute increments and then extending to longer periods of time. Once meditation becomes a practice, information meant uniquely for the practitioner is made known during and after the process of meditation.
Although meditation is simple, it is not easy. Avoid getting discouraged when the mind refuses to obey the initial commands. This discipline takes practice. It is said that when one meditates for only one half of an hour, on a daily basis, peace and strength become powerfully present in life. Meditation opens the door of trusting one’s innate wisdom and peaceful focus – something that all can benefit from in this fast-paced and seemingly crazy and chaotic world.
Most organic foods cost a bit more than their non-organic counterpart. For people on a tight budget deciding to eat organic foods can be a tough choice. When you live on a limited budget you have to choose carefully how you allocate your funds. What is really important to you? Perhaps you would rather have 200 cable tv channels instead of a refrigerator full of organic food. Perhaps you would rather eat dinner at a restaurant once a week than eat organic meals every day.
Eating organic foods on a tight budget begins with a choice. You can choose to eat foods that are sprayed, coated, genetically altered, artificially ripened, and unnaturally preserved. You can choose to eat foods that drain your health, destroy your environment and degrade your children’s future.
If you don’t like these choices then read on. Eating organic foods on a tight budget is easier than many people realize. Once you have made the decision to commit to a healthy organic diet, there are several tips for eating organic on a tight budget that can make this decision affordable.
Tip #1: Comparison shop
Most towns and cities have at least two stores that stock organic meats, produce, and dry goods. Many traditional chain grocery stores have organic foods. Compare their prices to those at the local health food store, food coop and/or farmer’s market and buy items where they are cheaper.
Tip #2: Spend your money where it matters most
Some produce items are more contaminated with pesticides and insecticides than others. The UNC School of Public Health suggests that people buy organic versions of these most contaminated conventional items: peaches, apples, nectarines, celery, pears, potatoes, bell peppers, raspberries, grapes (imported), strawberries, spinach, and cherries.
Other produce items are likely to have only a minimal amount of contamination. The organic version is better if you can afford it. But if your budget is tight, save money by purchasing the conventional version of these items: papaya, kiwi, broccoli, asparagus, onions, bananas, peas, mangos, cauliflower, pineapple, avocado, and corn.
Tip #3: Stock up on sale items
Organic foods go on sale just like every other food you can buy. When one of the organic goods you like goes on sale be sure to stock up. Dry goods are easy enough to store. Meats freeze well. But remember that certain fruits and veggies can also be frozen. Cut up pineapple, strawberries, mango and more and freeze for future smoothies. Lightly cook spinach, beans, corn, etc and freeze away.
Tip #4: Find coupons
Many health food stores, such as Whole Foods and Earthfare, have coupons that are specific for their store. Look for coupon booklets near the entrance or at the checkout counters. Additionally, many organic products have coupons available online. If you have preferred products, it’s worth a quick search on the internet to look for coupons.
Tip #5: Eat less meat
One of the most expensive grocery items that people buy is meat. Eating only antibiotic-free and hormone-free meat is essential for optimal health, particularly in growing children. However, many people eat more meat than is necessary. A serving size of meat should be no bigger than the size of a deck of cards. Limiting your portions to this size will save you money.
Additionally, consider cooking with meat substitutes. Tofu and tempeh are great alternatives to meat. Save money by purchasing these organic items when they are on sale and eating them in place of meat. Enjoy the variety of texture and taste that these non-meat proteins offer.
What is Soto Zen Meditation?
There is nothing special or different about Soto Zen meditation. It is not something weird or esoteric. It simply involves being still within, and allowing one’s real self to emerge from beneath the jumble of thoughts and emotions that usually fill an individual’s mind.
How Can One Practise it?
How can someone be still in this way? There are various techniques, but in Soto Zen Meditation the practitioner simply sits. The physical sitting position doesn’t really matter very much. Sitting on a zafu or meditation cushion using one of the lotus positions is traditional if the person is comfortable that way. But sitting on a chair or stool is fine, and often more suitable for western meditation practitioners who are not used to sitting in crosslegged psoitions for long periods. The eyes are kept open, and meditators usually face the wall. The technique is not to concentrate on anything, but instead to simply observe one’s thoughts or emotions, and come back to sitting still.
What About the Mind?
What about thoughts? When they arise, the practitioner tries to simply let them be. He or she doesn’t try to push them away, but does not try to hang on to them or actively ‘think’ either. It’s a little bit like sitting on a bridge watching the traffic going by. It is not necessary to try to stop the traffic, but one doesn’t have to get in there and try to speed it up or change it either. Thought is a natural process, and the meditator is not trying to do anything unnatural. Instead, the person is simply trying to be themselves as they truly are.
So What Comes Next?
In the beginning, meditation can seem very difficult. The practitioner may feel as though he or she has more thoughts and emotions than ever before. Time may appear to pass exceedingly slowly, and he may feel uncomfortable or downright miserable – worse than before he started! But all these feelings should be treated in the same way as thoughts, by not being held on to or pushed away, but simply accepted for what they are. When the meditator finds that he has started following his thoughts, ie thinking, it is best not to worry about it. Just by noticing what is going on, one has already begun meditating again. So the person shouldn’t get upset about it, but just come back to sitting still.
And What Can it Lead to?
This may all sound boring or pointless. But out of this simple practice, many things in one’s life can change. The details vary for different people, but simply keeping up a regular practice means that in time life becomes more peaceful, fulfilling, and natural. One feels calmer, more content, and less inclined to violent emotional swings for no good reason. In fact, it’s amazing what a few minutes of looking at a wall every day can do for one’s peace of mind!