Interesting Articles and Videos 21st February
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7 Sacred Herbs for Activating and Harmonizing the Chakras
Guest Writer for Wake Up World
While the chakras themselves are energetic/etheric in nature, they each have corresponding physical organs, glands and systems in the body that can, and do, have an effect on their functioning. When the associated organ/gland/system is weak or out of balance, the relevant chakra will be under active; and when the associated organ/system is balanced and healthy, the chakra will generally be in harmony.
This interconnectivity of the physical and etheric bodies goes the other way as well—if there is an energetic imbalance in a chakra, for example, as a result of emotional disturbances, then this can also cause the associated physical elements to become weak as well. As such, it is important to not only address physical imbalances with herbs and lifestyle adjustments, but also on an energetic level as well with breathwork, meditation, kriya/tantric yoga, qigong or whatever your preferred flavor of energetic medicine.
It is interesting to note that in the system of Traditional Chinese Medicine each organ corresponds to specific emotional states. This is an important distinction because, as mentioned, emotional patterns also have an effect on chakra function in the sense that negative emotions tend to disturb chakra function and positive emotional states tend to improve it. By using herbs to balance the underlying organs, glands and systems of the body, and hence the chakras themselves, it has the added benefit of helping us to work through the associated emotional patterns that may be also negatively impacting the chakras as well.
There are many different practices—both energetic and otherwise (as outlined earlier)—with the end goal of healing and balancing the chakras that are effective to varying degrees, but, like putting water into a bucket with holes in it, if the corresponding organs, glands or bodily systems are weak for whatever reason, simply charging the area with Qi or Prana will not necessarily be as effective as simultaneously working to heal any underlying imbalances in the physical body itself. Besides general lifestyle adjustments, there are few methods as powerful and effective as the proper use of herbal medicines to bring the various aspects of the body back into balance.
In a general sense, you will get the most benefit by using the following herbs as an adjunct to the energetic/etheric practices outlined above. With that being said, I recommend two ways of taking these herbs for maximum benefit and to avoid imbalances in the bodies—etheric and physical. The first is slightly more sophisticated and requires you to understand what chakras or organs/glands/systems may be weak in your body. If you have this awareness and knowledge then you will generally want to take specific herbs from the list below to treat that specific imbalance. On the other hand if you are not sure what is in or out of balance then I would recommend taking a blend of a small portion of each of the herbs outlined below in order to maintain systemic balance and harmony so as not to overactivate or neglect any specific chakra or part of the body.
Recommended Herb: Shilajit
Although not an herb in the traditional sense, Shilajit is the byproduct of thousands of different herbs because it is the solidified resin of prehistoric forests compacted under the weight of the Himalayas for eons of time. As such it is very grounding, building and rejuvenating, rich in minerals and other compounds that literally restore the body at a foundational level. In that sense, the root chakra is also foundational in the chakric system and helps us stay grounded energetically. Shilajit also works on a number of other systems, organs and glands in the body and has many other remarkable benefits that you can learn about in the in-depth article I’ve written on it here: consciouslifestylemag.com/shilajit-benefits-ancient-superfood as there is simply too much to go into for the scope of this article.
Recommended Herb: Schizandra Berries
Schizandra is an incredible herb with many positive effects in the body, but it is particularly well known for strengthening and tonifying the sexual organs in both men and women. As a mild diuretic, it is also cleansing of the various energetic pathways that run through this area of the body and is particularly nourishing to the kidneys, making it an excellent herb for the sacral chakra and healing any underlying imbalances therein.
Recommended Herb: Pine Pollen
Manipura is in many ways the seat of power in the body both etherically and physically—our digestive system is responsible for turning the food we eat into the vital energy that runs our body. When the digestive system is weak, everything suffers. The third chakra is also the etheric-emotional seat of our self-confidence and sense of personal power. Correspondingly, when it is weak or there are imbalances in this area, it manifests as fear, worry and anxiety, as these emotions arise when we lack self-confidence. Thermal bio-scans of thousands of people in large-scale research studies at major universities have found these emotions (fear, worry and anxiety) are concentrated and most often experienced in the third chakra area.
In that sense, few herbs strengthen the body quite like Pine Pollen. One of nature’s most treasured herbal medicines, Pine Pollen is rich in DHEA, the body’s master hormonal precursor, which nourishes the adrenal glands directly and balances the entire endocrine/glandular system, which is foundational to our sense of personal power and self. Pine Pollen is also phenomenally rich in rare and important nutrients and nourishes the body at deep levels, supplementing weak digestion, which is remarkably common, and giving us added energetic support, no matter what phase of life we are in. There are few things which energetically strengthen the body like Pine Pollen, making it a perfect corresponding herb for the third chakra.
Recommended Herb: Reishi Mushroom
In the Daoist tradition, Reishi is considered a supreme heart Qi tonic, meaning that it increases the flow of vital energy to the heart and strengthens it directly as a result. It is also calming and balancing to the nervous system, which helps with our overall emotional balance, of which the heart is the center in the body in many ways. Reishi is also a supreme ‘Shen’ tonic, which translates to herb that nourishes the spirit. As the Anahata chakra is the ‘gateway chakra’ to higher consciousness and the heart itself is one of the key intuitive centers of the body, Reishi is particularly nourishing and relevant as a tonic for this area. Reishi also increases blood flow to the heart and lungs, further supporting the organ systems underlying the heart chakra.
Recommended Herb: Kelp/Seaweed
While there are many factors that influence thyroid health, perhaps the most pertinent is the supply of bioavailable iodine in the body. And there are few better sources of iodine than seaweeds. Rich in iodine and other important trace minerals, seaweeds supply the body with abundant raw nutritional materials that are hard to get and conspicuously lacking in modern western diets, even for those who eat quite healthfully. Iodine and the minerals in seaweed also strengthen the entire endocrine/glandular system as a whole, making it a great dietary addition for anyone doing regular energy or healing work.
Recommended Herb: Gotu Kola
One of the premier herbs in the ancient Indian Ayurvedic system of holistic medicine is Gotu Kola, a powerful herb for the brain and related glands and systems. Gotu Kola enhances oxygen uptake to the brain specifically and to the body’s cells in general and has been shown to actually increase intelligence in long-term users. It has also been shown to enhance and harmonize trans-hemispheric communication in the brain, which is likely why it has been traditionally used by meditators. Brain hemisphere synchronization produces measurable changes in brainwave state into the alpha, gamma and theta spectrum, which are associated with expanded states of consciousness. Gotu Kola is also said to act directly on the pineal gland in part through the above mechanisms and due to the fact that it is a vasodilator, causing both increased blood and oxygen flow to key areas and glands within the brain and body.
The Hindus also consider it to be a powerful herb for balancing the pituitary gland and the crown chakra, essentially killing two birds with one stone. In that sense, the plant acts as a sort of ‘shortcut’ to help one access higher states of consciousness and awareness and is a key herb for harmonizing the brain and higher chakras.
Recommended Herb: Sage
I’m going to make a non-traditional recommendation here. Most know sage as the premier smudging herb, but it can also be taken internally and works in much the same way—to clear the etheric body and physical body of energetic blockages and imbalances, as well as destructive influences. As the crown chakra is the gateway between the higher non-physical planes/energies and the body, it is fitting to suggest an herb that is energetically cleansing and harmonizing rather than deeply physical in its effects, although sage certainly has those properties as well. Recently discovered in some fascinating studies is sage’s ability to increase perceptual awareness, intelligence, brain function and memory; and those intuitively tuned into the deeper effects of the herb will notice it also enhances sensitivity to subtle energies, which further cements its appropriateness as a tonic for this chakra. Taken in tandem with Gotu Kola, all of the physical organs, glands and systems correlated with the crown chakra are are addressed, strengthened and balanced.
As always with herbs, seek organic, wildcrafted/harvested or biodynamic whenever possible and choose those with minimal, low-temperature processing to preserve active constituents and enhance potency. Start slow and work your way up in dosage to what intuitively feels right for your body as you acclimate to their effects, and be sure to take a few days’ break from the herbs now and then to let your body rest and integrate the changes.
Check this out, sounds like it just may work. No Joke.
What to take to bed with you - not a joke.
Pretty neat idea. Never thought of it before.
Put your car keys beside your bed at night.
Tell your spouse, your children, your neighbors, your parents, your Dr's office, the check-out girl at the market, everyone you run across. Put your car keys beside your bed at night.
If you hear a noise outside your home or someone trying to get in your house, just press the panic button for your car. The alarm will be set off, and the horn will continue to sound until either you turn it off or the car battery dies.
This tip came from a neighborhood watch coordinator. Next time you come home for the night and you start to put your keys away, think of this: It's a security alarm system that you probably already have and requires no installation. Test it. It will go off from most everywhere inside your house and will keep honking until your battery runs down or until you reset it with the button on the key fob chain. It works if you park in your driveway or garage.
If your car alarm goes off when someone is trying to break into your house, odds are the burglar/rapist won't stick around. After a few seconds, all the neighbors will be looking out their windows to see who is out there and sure enough the criminal won't want that. And remember to carry your keys while walking to your car in a parking lot. The alarm can work the same way there. This is something that should really be shared with everyone. Maybe it could save a life or a sexual abuse crime.
2nd February 2016
Guest Writer for Wake Up World
We all wish for our children to be healthy and free of disease. We wish the same for ourselves as adults, too. But it’s time to critically examine and have an open conversation about whether multiple vaccines in early childhood should be our nation’s No. 1 disease-prevention strategy.
In fact, such a conversation is long overdue. Many red flags have appeared that suggest vaccines not only have the potential for failure, but also for harm. There can be little doubt that we need to review the safety and effectiveness of the current vaccination program in the U.S.
If you’re not sure this is necessary, just consider some of the recent vaccine failures that have made headlines. The one-size-fits-all vaccination schedule in the U.S. is not safe for every child, and there comes a point when we may well be sacrificing too many children’s lives in the name of “the greater good.”
Researchers from the University of Virginia School of Medicine conducted a study involving malnourished children in Bangladesh. One of the hallmarks of malnutrition is stunted growth.
Despite being given regular medical care, vaccinations and food, stunted growth increased among the children, from 9.5 percent at the start of the study to nearly 28 percent by 1 year old. Children with stunted growth were found to have infections in their intestines more often than non-affected children.1
The researchers believe the children may not be digesting their food properly, and the infections likely play a role. Similar results were found among U.S. children with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
The study also found that vaccines given orally to these malnourished children (and presumably to children with IBD or other gut infections) become less effective. The worse the gut inflammation in the child, the less effective the vaccines (including those for rotavirus and polio) became.
Gut inflammation is widespread throughout the world, including in the U.S. where poor diets prevail. Before blindly vaccinating, we should be looking into how such vaccines may react in children with IBD and other gut issues.
Are they even effective? No one really knows. According to a study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases:2
There are three strains of wild poliovirus still circulating in the world, but vaccine-strain polio viruses also circulate.3
A large part of the problem is the polio vaccine itself, specifically the live attenuated oral polio vaccine (OPV) that is not being given to children in the U.S. any more but is used in many other countries.
[The U.S. stopped using OPV in 1999 when the only cases of polio in the U.S. were being caused by the live virus vaccine. Children in the U.S. today receive four doses of the injected inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) that cannot cause vaccine strain polio.]
In Ukraine, two children were recently paralyzed by vaccine strain poliovirus type 1 after they received live OPV. The World Health Organization (WHO) noted:4
In early December 2015, the WHO was also notified of two additional cases of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV1) in Lao People’s Democratic Republic in Xaisomboun, a previously unaffected province.
To date, five cases have been associated with this outbreak, including a 7-month-old who received oral polio vaccine in September and a 14-year-old who has a history of receiving the vaccine.
Both suffered from Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP) that was officially classified as confirmed vaccine derived polio virus cases.
Worldwide in 2015, there were 24 cases of cVDPV reporded with 10 of them in Madagascar, a country that somehow slipped under the radar when it came to cVDPV news reports this year.
The type-1 vaccine derived polio virus (cVDPV1) has also been isolated from the stools of 16 healthy people in other area provinces since the beginning of the outbreak.5
Not only can the oral polio vaccine cause vaccine-strain polio in the recently vaccinated individual, but some people who receive OPV are capable of shedding the virus in their body fluids for decades and can infect others with vaccine strain polio virus, particularly people who are immune compromised.6
At this point in time, as health officials are declaring a victory in eliminating the wild polio virus in large portions of the world, vaccine-caused polio is a growing problem.
The polio virus in the vaccine can mutate into a deadlier version in the intestines of a recently vaccinated person or someone who “catches” the vaccine strain polio virus from that person, igniting new outbreaks.
According to a 2010 article in the New England Journal of Medicine, outbreaks of vaccine-derived polioviruses (VDPVs) have been occurring at a rate of once or twice per year since the year 2000.7
So are we really any better off? Polio can cause difficulty breathing and paralysis as the virus attacks and kills motor nerve cells that control your muscles. It can also cause death in its most severe form. However, what is not often shared is that in most cases of wild polio virus infection, it is a mild illness, causing flu-like symptoms that disappear in two to 10 days. Often, polio can occur and show no symptoms at all. Even the Mayo Clinic states:8
Although polio vaccine has been promoted as the best way of preventing polio, the vaccine has certainly not been the only, nor the ultimate, solution to prevent this disease.
Maintaining a strong and well-functioning immune system will always be the first line of defense, as this reduces the risk of any number of diseases, including polio.
The flu shot is one of the most controversial vaccines of all, not only because it’s recommended every year, but also because of its many years of dismal failures. Not surprisingly, many Americans are now dubious of its effectiveness.
A recent Harris Poll of more than 2,200 Americans revealed one-third don’t believe the flu shot will protect them, while only 43 percent “strongly believed” it would. A sizeable number also correctly believed there were other ways to protect against the flu than a flu shot.9
Strategies mentioned included frequent hand washing, staying well rested, eating healthy and taking vitamins. Perhaps more people are becoming aware that the flu vaccine is often a major flop. For instance, last year’s (2014-2015) flu vaccine had an abysmal 18 percent effectiveness rate.
(For more, please see: Considering the Flu Shot? Here Are Five Reasons to Think Twice.).
The long-term effects of annual flu vaccination are unknown, but it appears this strategy may be backfiring, leaving those who have been vaccinated annually less protected than those with no prior flu vaccination history.10
Research presented at the 105th International Conference of the American Thoracic Society in San Diego revealed that children who get seasonal flu shots are more at risk of hospitalization than children who do not. Children who had received the flu vaccine had three times the risk of hospitalization as children who had not. Among children with asthma, the risk was even higher.11
There remain more questions than answers when it comes to vaccinations, which is why we regularly see “mysterious” side effects – like narcolepsy – popping up after vaccinations enter widespread use. The swine flu (H1N1) vaccine (Pandemrix), for instance was causally linked to an increased risk of narcolepsy among children and adolescents.12
About 1,000 people who received the swine flu shot developed the neurological disorder and will live with it the rest of their lives. If this is news to you, it’s probably because few media outlets picked up on this story at the time.
In 2014, New York City began requiring pre-school children to get an annual flu shot in order to attend city-regulated, non-family daycare facilities. The NYC health department rule, instituted during the final days of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration, affected more than 100,000 children between the ages of 6 and 59 months.
Earlier this month, state Supreme Court Justice Manuel Mendez judged the NYC flu shot mandate issued by public health officials to be “invalid and unlawful” because it is in “direct violation of the New York State Public Health Law.”13 Basically, the city’s health department officials do not have the regulatory power to impose a flu shot requirement on children without getting approval from elected representatives in the state legislature.
Immediately after the NY Supreme Court struck down the NYC unlawful flu shot mandate for pre-school children, a Bronx Assemblyman introduced a bill (AO8633) in the legislature to require all pre-school children in the whole state to get an annual flu shot.14
With your legal right to make independent vaccine decisions for yourself and your family being eroded at a rapid rate these days, the NY Supreme Court decision temporarily gives parents in New York City at least some control over which vaccines their children will get. But the new bill pending in the New York legislature, which would make annual flu shots a statewide mandate for all pre-school children, could be a huge problem if parents do not make their voices heard in Albany in 2016.
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Whilst most of our friends and colleagues force their minds to dwell on the news, current affairs and football, we are all aware that this is just the side-show. Total absorption in the side-show precludes observation of, and participation in, the main event.
Like most main events, the vast majority of souls are merely spectators, with the action being determined by a few major players behind closed doors, who then stage a carefully orchestrated show in order to demonstrate to everybody that they are watching the real thing. That is as much as we wish to say about the sideshow.
We now wish to promote the main event, and we are going to do this through drahla.
Drahla is a Tibetan word, which is best translated as "goodness". Our plan is to spread goodness around the planet, and we plead for your energetic participation. The game is called:
This game originated in Tibet, as can be noted from the name - it is the kind of game used by lamas for centuries.
All we have to do is to make a little effort to identify those tiny uplifting moments which occasionally lighten our heart - the sight of a kitten sleeping, or the sunlight reflecting on the early morning haze, or the sound of children laughing... We are about to start a new life, where we concentrate only on the good things, and every time we spot a good thing, we are going to say, out loud, so that everybody can hear, "D R A H L A". We will be contributing our bit to the uplifting of the planetary aura, and contributing a tiny fraction towards the healing of the planet and its people
Our dream is that we can walk down a street, and hear several people say "D R A H L A". If only half of the people found only one pleasant moment per day, then we would still have three billion D R A H L A S per day. Therefore, at Our House, whenever we notice a small piece of goodness we say, out loud, "D R A H L A". This brings one person's good feeling to the attention of all present, and allows us all to share in the same good feelings. By adopting this method of saying Drahla, we all get to share in more good feelings each day, thus uplifting our average mood.
Recurrent drops in mood, created by bad news, or someone's unfortunate circumstances, or fear of impending problems, or sickness or boredom or loneliness, or guilt all lead to the creation of blockages in our otherwise healthy energy system.
The yogic answer is to be able to hold consciousness above the level of trivia, but for most of us, achieving a glimpse of a higher consciousness occasionally is what we strive for.
Meanwhile, while the world around us is up and down like a prostitute's underwear, we are trying to maintain a steady balance of mood, so that we can be in control of our thoughts and actions. Once we allow our energies to be swirled about by the haphazard world around us, then our balance is gone, and we fall asleep at the side show again, along with all of our associates.
Every time we say or hear "D R A H L A", then we are able to draw a deep breath and remember the difference between reality and illusion. So we therefore plead for your help in lifting the planet out of its present deep rut. If everyone who reads this manages a couple of "D R A H L A S" per day, and manages to forward this message to a couple of other goodness-loving people, then we might just add enough weight to get this whole consciousness change rolling. What do you think?
According to our ancient sages, the vibration which many have tried to translate as God, or some other personification of The Great Vibration, is represented when we carefully pronounce the word A-u-m.
The complete practice will massage each of the seven chakras, and will make the entire body glow with warmth.
Start with the mouth very wide open to form a sharp 'A'.
Then while singing 'A' quietly, we slowly and gradually close our lips until we are singing 'U', having gone through a stage of 'AU'.
Now, with no steps, but in one continual gradual movement, we continue to close our lips, until we are singing 'M', having gone through the 'UM' stage.. We hold on to, and deepen through the nostrils, the 'MM'. The vibration will be felt in the upper nostril, and third eye, which will open with sufficient practice.
By practising very quietly, we can even get away with doing this in very noisy, boring places, with no-one knowing that we are in another, more sane, world. If we are able to direct our consciousness, then we can also use this as a method for keeping warm, or for disposing of pain.
We are going to put together a series of 'AUM's, with careful timing of the breathing.
We start with a slow in-breath, during the count of eight seconds (one-second, two-second, three-second, four-second, five-second, six-second, seven-second, eight-second).
Then, with our lungs full, we pause for a count of four (one-second, two-second, three-second, four-second). As we reach the 'four-second' mark, we open our mouth wide ready for the 'A'.
c)Singing while exhaling
Now we proceed with the 'AUM', during a count of sixteen. We aim to be leaving the 'UM', and moving to 'M', at a count of twelve. If we have unexpired breath at the count of sixteen, then we fully exhale as we finish the 'sixteen-second'.
('A' one-second, two-second three-second, 'AU' four second, five-second, six-second, 'U' seven-second, eight-second, nine-second, 'UM' ten-second, eleven-second, twelve-second, 'M' thirteen-second, fourteen-second, fifteen-second, and sixteen second - blow(to exhale all breath))
Then, with our lungs empty, we pause for a count of four (one-second, two-second, three-second, four-second). As we reach the 'four-second' mark, we push out our diaphragm to initiate the in-breath.
Repeat for seven cycles.
This stage gives balance to the chakras, and gives a general tone up to the body. We AUM for seven cycles of seven. For each cycle we consider the next colour of the rainbow, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet. (Note: If we have never done colour visualisation before, then we need to be able to picture in our mind some item which we can easily recall, which always appears with the chosen colour ,e.g. the red hat, the oranges at the market stall, the yellow buttercup, the green lawn, the blue light on top of a car, indigo (imagine), the violet flower(or pansy, or your favourite violet coloured item).
With regular practice and complete concentration, we will be able to complete the full spectrum of the rainbow, with no mistakes. This is a wonderful meditation, and helps to tune up the powers of concentration, which calms the mind. The time taken will be about half an hour. This half hour will calm our minds, and remove thoughts of pain. It takes practice and will power to complete the cycle, but on completion, a radiance, and sense of satisfaction will be experienced.
For those musically inclined, the final step is to incorporate the seven notes of the scale, as follows.
While envisaging red, we sing the note doh, but still pronouncing 'AUM'.
While envisaging orange, we sing the note ray.
While envisaging yellow, we sing the note me.
While envisaging green, we sing the note fah.
While envisaging blue, we sing the note soh.
While envisaging indigo, we sing the note lah.
While envisaging violet, we sing the note tee.
And one final enhancement is the use of mudras.
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