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How to Cleanse Your Liver with Herbs

I am often recommending liver herbs for my patients/clients. For most people today the daily chemical exposure is far more than you can imagine. Our livers have the job of filtering and processing these chemicals and, just like an oil filter in your car, it can get clogged and sluggish. Herbs can do an amazing job at healing and helping the liver regain optimal function.

The following is an excerpt from an article written by Fred Liers, PhD. It is a thorough instructional on how to cleanse the liver with herbs and juices. The full article can be accessed from the link:

http://www.integratedhealthblog.com/liver-cleanse-with-juices-and-herbs/

There are many ways to cleanse the liver. And there are many ways to juice for health. However, the combination of juicing with liver cleansing provides what is probably the most effective means for liver detoxification for health and healing, as well as improved liver function.

Detoxifying the liver is important these days by any measure. Our environment presents our bodies with the job of detoxifying numerous toxins. These toxins accumulate inside the body and damage our health. The liver is our primary organ of detoxification, responsible for more functions than science can describe.

We therefore look to the liver when considering how best to detoxify ourselves. Any actions you take to detoxify your liver will pay you back handsomely in better health. Or at least in a cleaner liver, which equates to more effective liver function, a greater capacity to detoxify, and (ostensibly) a less toxic you.

Performing a liver cleanse regularly (ideally 3–4 times per year, i.e., once per season) not only allows your body to eliminate many of these toxins, but also keeps your liver and other organs of detoxification in good condition, prepared to continue doing their jobs well…and keep you well.

MORNING LIVER / GALLBLADDER DRINK RECiPE

(Use organic or wildcrafted ingredients whenever possible)

8 ounces citrus juice (orange, grapefruit, and/or lemon/lime)
8 ounces purified water
1 clove garlic (and then add 1 clove per day)
1 inch ginger
1 tablespoon olive oil (and then add 1 tablespoon per day)

Juice the citrus separately and then place all ingredients into a blender. Blend until smooth. Drink.

Note: citrus juice is best to use in spring and summer. In winter, you can substitute fresh apple and/or grape juice.

RECIPE FOR LIVER / GALLBLADDER TEA: Use two parts dandelion root and one part of each of all the other ingredients. You can obtain these herbs at your local natural foods store or from Pacific Botanicals (www.PacificBotanicals.com) and/or Blessed Herbs (www.BlessedHerbs).

Dandelion root, burdock root, Pau D’arco inner bark, cinnamon bark, cardamom seed, licorice root, fennel seed, Juniper berries, ginger root, clove buds, black peppercorns, uva ursi leaves, horsetail herb, orange peel, and parsley root and/or leaf.

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Then place into glass jars (or other suitable containers) for storage.

Another option is to purchase liver tea premixed. Liver teas can be purchased at your local natural food store. One good brand is Yogi Tea, which makes a “Detox” tea and “Peach Detox” tea that include many of the ingredients listed above. You can use 2 or 3 teabags to brew a stronger tea in lieu of making your own tea. [Longlife Tea also makes a good Detox tea]

LIVER TINCTURE

As noted above, it is best to include a liver tincture right into your liver tea. You will do this at least three times daily by adding two droppers of liver tincture into your liver tea. You can also take the tincture in a little water or directly into your mouth, if you prefer.

There are several good brands of liver tincture. I prefer to make my own liver tincture, but my favorite commercially available formula is Dr. Schulze’s L-GB Formula.

If you wish to make your own liver tincture, here is a good recipe. Milk thistle seed (eight parts or 40%), Oregon grape root (two parts or 10%), dandelion root (two parts or 10%), Wormwood (one part or 5%), gentian root (one part or 5%), Chaparral (one part or 5%), Black Walnut (one part or 5%), Ginger Root (one part or 5%), Garlic (one part or 5%), Fennel Seed (one part or 5%). Note: parts apply to weight, not volume.

Assemble the fresh herbs. Put them into a blender in the proper proportions. (You can mix them in a bowl first if it fills more than the blender can accommodate at once.) Then add enough 80 to 100-proof vodka to cover the herbs. Then pour the resulting herbal vodka mixture into a mason jar and let it steep for at least 14 days, and possibly many months. Shake it at least once or twice per day.

Sometime after a minimum steeping time of 14 days, strain the mixture through cheesecloth or a t-shirt into a large bowl, and then pour the tincture back into jar(s) and store in the dark. Ideally, start this process on a new moon, and strain the finished tincture during the full moon. That’s a 14-day cycle. If you wait longer, the tincture will be stronger, but sometimes you can’t wait. If you do wait longer, still strain it on (or near) a full moon because the tincture will contain more of the active ingredients.

 To continue reading this article go to:

 http://www.integratedhealthblog.com/liver-cleanse-with-juices-and-herbs/

Mantras for Health and Peace of Mind

When trying to bring peace into one’s life or to retrain one’s thought patterns, using mantras can be extremely useful. A mantra can be any word or set of words used repeatedly to create an effect in the mind and in life, like an affirmation. I prefer Sanskrit mantras because they have been used for thousands of years and have been honed over that time for specific effects, and there generally aren’t any associations that the words in one’s native language may have. Sanskrit has also been used only for spiritual purposes for thousands of years since it ceased being a common language. When using a sound that is not in one’s daily language we are using our right hemisphere, the part of the brain associated with music, art and feeling of oneness; the area that we want to activate for an optimal meditative experience.

When beginning to use a mantra try to set a specific period of time (21 days, 40 days, 45 days) to work with it. Using a mala or a rosary can be an effective way to count the mantras, or say the mantra for 1 minute to determine how many times you can say the mantra in that amount of time and then multiply to determine the number of minutes you need to reach 108 repetitions. The number 108 refers to the number of nadis or energetic pathways in the body according the the Vedic system.

Mantras for Peace:

Om Shanti Om   –  Shanti is the Sanskrit word for Peace. Om is the sound of creation.

So Hum – This simple mantra can be used as you observe your breath, so on the inhale and hum on the exhale. It also means “I am that”.

Mantras for Enlightenment:

Om Namah Shivaya – Om and salutations to the Supreme Consciousness/Shiva

Om Bhur Bhuvaha Swaha tat savitur varenyam bhargo devasya dhimahi dhiyo yo nah prachodayat  – The Gayatri mantra is considered one of the great mantras. The meaning of this mantra is complex but a rough meaning is: Om Existence, Absolute, Creator of the three dimensions, we contemplate upon your divine light. May you illuminate our intellect and bestow upon us true knowledge.

Mantra for removing obstacles:

Om Gum Ganapatayei Namaha  – This is a mantra to Ganesha the elephant headed god  who was created by Parvati (Shakti or the feminine power or energy in the universe) and was both beheaded and restored to life by Shiva. Ganesha is associated with one’s will. When your inner will is aligned with your highest self and not with the ego then we can receive the blessings of the Supreme Consciousness or Shiva. This is often a good mantra to begin with as our own inner obstacles are often the cause of what we see in the external world that we try to blame for our problems.

Mantra for abundance:

Om Shreem Shri Maha Lakshmiyei Namaha – Lakshmi is the energy of abundance on all levels. As you say the mantra, seek to be that abundance and not just experience it externally.

Mantra to release anger:

Shante prashante sarva krodha upasha mani Swaha – “Invoking supreme peace I surrender (or offer) the quality of anger to its source in the higher and formless universal mind. Salutations.” (from Thomas Ashley-Farrand’s book on Healing Mantras)

This is a lovely mantra that can be used for other emotions as well. For example, substitute the word ‘bhaya’ for ‘krodha’ to use the mantra to release fear.

Mantras for fear:

Shante prashante sarva bhaya upasha mani Swaha

Abhayam sarva bhutey byo – I am nothing to fear, I fear nothing. This mantra is very effective when wanting to approach a being who is afraid or when wanting to ensure that you walk through a situation without being harmed. I have often used this mantra with animals but it can also be very effective for people who feel that aggression is directed towards them and they are not sure why. Surrounding yourself with the energy of this mantra will set yourself and other people at ease.

Mantra for protection:

Om Dum Durgayei Swaha – Durga is the energy  of the Divine Mother.  This mantra can be used for a feeling of protection, nurturing and for any problems in life.

Tibetan Buddhist mantra for removing negativity:

Om Hung Vajra Pey – Hung is the Tibetan version of the bija mantra Hum as in So Hum. Vajra is the thunderbolt which illumines the mind. When our mind is illuminated there can be no fear, no darkness.

There are many, many mantras but these few are enough to get you started. Once you begin to work with a mantra intensively you will start to notice the effects in your life. If you are not noticing a change in yourself and how you interact in the world after 45 days then return to the Ganesha mantra to remove obstacles or seek advice from someone who is established in a mantra practice. Generally, I have noticed mantras working after about 3 days of 2 malas a day and have found that with intensives the mantra feels complete after 21-45 days. When working with health issues it may be helpful to speak with a Vedic astrologer who can give you a planetary mantra to work with.

If you need further assistance with these or other mantras feel free to contact me. For more information  or self-study on mantras and their uses I recommend two authors: Thomas Ashley-Farrand and David Frawley.

 

Emptiness

This beautiful quote from Lao Tzu reminds us of the importance of both substance and space, matter and energy, the visible and the invisible. Sometimes what we can’t see or perceive is of equal or greater importance than what we can see and perceive. Try to create that space and emptiness within you and see what happens!

 

Thirty spokes end in a hub,

but it is the hole in the hub

that makes the wheel usable.

Vessels are shaped by kneading clay,

but it is the empty space inside that makes them useful.

Walls, penetrated by windows and doors, form rooms,

but it is the emptiness of the room that makes it useful.

Thus the material provides a potential,

but the immaterial provides the value.

Lao Tzu

Stop Sugar Cravings and Boost Health in the New Year!

Holiday season is a time when many people overdo the sweets and end up out of balance. For some people this is an on-going issue related to a spleen deficiency (see blog post Nourishing the Spleen), while for others it’s a temporary condition that can be rectified easily. Regardless of how long you have been experiencing cravings for sweets and carbs there is something you can do to regain balance in your body.

  • Create an alkaline body. Start your day with fresh lemon juice in 12 – 16 oz of water. I have observed that if your body is alkaline then there is a greater likelihood that you will gravitate towards alkaline-forming foods. Acid-forming foods to minimize or avoid include: sugar, meat, most grains, dairy.
  • Eat more protein. Often a craving for sweets is actually a call from your body for more protein or other nutrients. Try eating more nuts and seeds – almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, pepitas, chia seeds, hemp meal.
  • Start your day with a protein-rich breakfast. Some ideas include: organic free -range eggs and spinach; black or pinto beans and organic corn tortilla with salsa; 2 tbsp chia seeds, 2 tbsp hemp meal, 2 tbsp shredded coconut, berries and rice or nut milk; grind in food processor 1/2 cup walnuts, 2 dried apricots or 1 soft date, cinnamon and powdered ginger.
  • Eliminate sugar from your diet. Be sure to read labels. Replace regular granulated sugar with maple syrup, honey, stevia, xylitol when needed. Read labels! Sugar hides in many packaged foods.
  • Eat warming foods. Warming spices include ginger, cinnamon, clove, tumeric, garlic, cayenne. Try adding ginger to your food or drink ginger tea. Green tea, although cooling in nature, will alkalinize your body.
  • Eat cleansing foods. Fermented foods like kim chee, sauerkraut or kombucha are cleansing. Fresh vegetables and fruits, especially apples are also cleansing. Use Braggs raw apple cider vinegar and olive oil for your salad dressing instead of bottled, processed dressings.
  • Eat whole grains rather than processed flours. Gluten-free examples include: brown rice, amaranth, millet, quinoa. When making breads try substituting coconut, buckwheat and/or mesquite flours for wheat and add an extra egg.
  • Balance your intestinal flora with a formula like Gaia herbs Wormwood/Black Walnut Supreme or Dr. Schulze’s LV/GB tincture (liver/gallbladder). You might also find it beneficial to take a probiotic formula with at least 5 strains of bacteria. An intestinal cleansing formula with charcoal, bentonite clay, psyllium, etc  from www.integratedhealth.com or from www.herbdoc.com is also a very effective way to balance and heal the intestines.
  • If the above suggestions don’t stop your sugar cravings then you may want to try supplementing with vitamins and specific amino acids. For more information see Julia Ross’s book The Diet Cure or The Mood Cure. A high quality multi-vitamin in capsule form, magnesium, complete B-complex, Chromium, l-tryptophan and glutamine may be beneficial.

I encourage you to keep focussing on the positive things you are doing for your body and not engage in negative self-talk. If you eat something that is not good for you then balance it with something that is good for you (eat an apple or carrots). The more you eat healthy, nutrient dense foods the less you will crave the empty calorie foods. You cannot eat too much vegetables so be sure to make vegetables and fruits your main foods with proteins as the side. For example, a large salad with a small amount of meat or if you are vegetarian, a vegetable saute with brown rice and sesame seeds and chia or other kind of seed or nut.

Supplementing with a protein powder may also benefit you. I use the Rejuvenate line from www.integratedhealth.com for high quality, organic nutrients. When choosing a product avoid soy (unless organic/non-GMO), look for sugar content (fructose, sucrose, corn syrup, artificial sweeteners like aspartame) and if there are vegetables or fruits in the product consider how important it is to you that they are or are not organic. Common GMO foods include soy, corn, beets, potatoes, tomatoes, strawberries among others. Heavily sprayed crops include berries, apples, spinach, cantaloupe, grapes, peaches, pears.

Some of you may be able to relate to having to run out the door after feeding everyone but yourself! On these occasions I put 2 scoops of Rejuvenate Plus in a mason jar with water and/or rice milk to drink on my way. This protein drink gives me energy all morning and into the early afternoon when I am able to have lunch.

 For a those occasions where you really do want something sweet and yummy – and healthy! – here is a recipe to try:

1/2 – 1 cup walnuts, 2 or 3 dried apricots, cinnamon and ginger to taste. Place all ingredients in a food processor until fully ground. The mixture will be a bit pastey. Place in bowel and all 1 or 2 tsp B grade maple syrup and enjoy!

What To Do With Negative Thoughts

1. You are not your thoughts– just observe them do not become attached to your thoughts or attach judgement or meaning to them. 

2. Do not try to suppress thoughts but if they require you to question them then ask, “Why am I thinking this way? What do I need in this moment?” Do you need love, nurturing, to be heard, valued, respected, comforted, etc?

3. Give yourself what you need in that moment. If you are angry and hurt that you did not get the acknowledgement you wanted from someone then feel it coming from yourself/the universe/God. Give yourself what you need! It is not other’s responsibility to fill our voids. 

4. It’s okay to feel sad or angry or any other emotion provided we don’t dwell upon it longer than is useful. Anger is an important emotion to motivate us or spur us to action but dwelling on it is harmful. Allow yourself to express what you need to express and recognize, then move on. Smile, laugh, run, look at the sky, say some mantras, do something you enjoy, listen to positive uplifting music to shift your mood. 

5. Let go of expectations. Expectations are the cause of so much suffering. Greet the world with a giving attitude that expects nothing in return. When you learn and master this technique it is pure joy and freedom. It requires unlearning so many things that have been engrained in us from early childhood- that everything gets a reward. Let the action itself be the reward, not the response. 

So often when one is in a low mood or having self-defeating thoughts the tendency is to begin criticizing oneself for not being positive! It is only in this earthly plane that the duality exists- positive/negative, good/bad, light/dark. Begin to notice when you are labeling your emotions and thoughts and instead just observe them. Begin to notice when you are thinking or feeling yourself anything less than perfect or divine. Yes, we are all perfect, unique and beautiful even if we are not expressing it in that moment or have yet to express it. It is in that moment of low mood that is is most difficult for us to believe, acknowledge or express that innate beauty that is ours.

Meditation requires discipline and a desire to know your your True Self. The only way to know the True Self is through contemplation and introspection. There is nothing to fear and everything to gain! Unless you fear that you are not who you think you are- and this is most certainly true, you are so much more! Through meditation or introspection you will learn to be a neutral observer of your thoughts. If something unpleasant surfaces remind yourself that you are not your thoughts, but a spectator. Just as the TV may run commercials and programs, so your mind discharges the images and thoughts that have accumulated during your day or your life. You don’t become the television but observe it and shut it off if you don’t like what you are hearing, same with your mind- one must learn to shut it off or change channels if you don’t like what you are observing. When I say to observe your thoughts during meditation I am suggesting that you notice and let it pass and not follow it to the end of its story. Most thoughts are random and unconnected. We get into trouble if we begin to connect the thoughts and place meaning upon it. 

Attempting to suppress thoughts leads to more of the same thoughts. It’s best not to try to avoid thinking about something. Just as those who are trying to change their diets crave what is on the ‘do not eat’ list, so does the mind crave the thoughts that you are trying to suppress. Notice I say ‘trying’ as we can never really suppress thoughts. Just begin to bring in a counter-thought. For example, so many people dwell on what is lacking in their life. Rather than saying to oneself, “I don’t want to be without money/relationship/sleep/job, etc”, begin telling yourself that you are open to a full bank account/ steady paycheck/loving, committed relationship/fantastic job that you enjoy, etc. If you are feeling angry that you were not properly regarded by someone then rather than focusing on the anger and trying to clear it, visualize/bring in the love and attention that you were craving. 

The mind is a powerful tool. With diligence and awareness you can use the power of the mind to continually shift yourself thought by thought to a new perspective. You can indeed create Peace and Harmony in your life! 

Living in the Present Moment

“Be in the Present.” We have all heard these words of wisdom but there seems to be confusion on how to implement such a seemingly simple task. I often hear concerns of how scheduling and taking care of the many tasks that modern day life supplies us with will take place if we do not look to the future. I assure you that one can live in the present and still live in the modern, material oriented world. But if one never meditates then it will be very difficult to leave the demands of the world behind and be in the present moment!

What does it mean to be in the present moment? What does it feel like? Peace. Connection to one’s Higher Self. Knowingness that all is well. Absence or significant decrease in thoughts. There is nothing one ‘needs’ to do. When something does need attention and action then it is just done without prior worry, anxiety or concern.

When we are in the present moment we are actually more efficient. We can allow a knowingness to come to us, guiding us moment by moment in the things we have to do. There is no longer a worry about this and that but we can quietly and confidently know that all will get done in it’s right time. In choosing to be in the present moment we are also accepting that there is a Higher Awareness operating in our life. One can look to that Higher Awareness as God, the Higher Self, Angels, Guides, etc. Whatever name you give it it is All-knowing and what we connect with when we still the mind through meditation or mindfulness.

The bliss, stillness, peacefulness that many of you have commented on after a session with me or during meditation can be sustained. Meditation/Mindfulness is a state that we can experience with our eyes open, moving through life. It takes an intention, a commitment on your part. In order to change the path, a new path must be created. This must be done through continually pulling the thoughts away from the habitual path and redirecting them in a new, healthier way. Be consistent and you will see results. The deeper the groove the longer it takes to fill in but it does happen and you can experience change in a relatively short period of time. After all, if you have spent 30 years thinking a certain way are you going to give up after 2 weeks? Give it time!

Here are some tips on your path of the Present:

– Meditate daily for at least 10 minutes but preferably more. If you have never meditated then sit still, feel your feet, your body. Do not focus on thoughts or words but observe them and let them pass. If needed, focus on the word Peace, or another mantra, every few minutes.

– When you notice your thoughts moving to the past or future, bring your awareness to your breath, soles of feet, top of head.

– At various times of the day bring attention to the top of your head and breathe light through your spine from top of head to tailbone.

– Let go of the idea of achievement. Let go of goals- even the goal of being more peaceful! Just be and love yourself for where you are, every step of the way.

– Be Thankful! Bring the mind to Love and Gratitude, Feel it and Be it.

– Find a mantra that appeals to you and use it whenever you can, throughout the day. Repeating a mantra silently can hasten your progress in eliminating old thought patterns. If you need assistance in finding a mantra I can help you. A few to start with include:

Om Vajra Sattwa Hung (Tibetan- for creating mental clarity)

Om Namah Shivaya (Sanskrit – Om and Salutations, May the elements of this creation abide in me in full manifestation/To that which I am capable of becoming- the path of perfection)

Sat Chid Ekam Brahma (Sanskrit – Truth, Consciousness, Only One, Creator-Creation/Cosmos)

So Hum (Sanskrit – balances autonomic nervous system and the masculine/feminine within you)

Shanti (Sanskrit- Peace)

 

Many Blessings to You on your Path~

Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi

Allow Peace~

The following is an excerpt from The Bhagavad Gita Demystified Volume 1, Controlling the Mind, by Paramahamsa Nithyananda.

 

Real peace is something that is in us all the time irrespective of what is going on outside. We are simply happy unto ourselves. Our peace is in no way related to or dependent on the people and situations around us. 

Real peace is nothing but the bliss that we feel inside ourselves. When peace is born out of bliss, it keeps us as well as others in a peaceful state. When we are satisfied with ourselves, we do not depend on anything external to be peaceful.

Actually, with modern man, because of all the influences from media and the internet, a cerebral layer has formed. Man relates only with the imagination and fantasies that he has collected from the media. He can no longer relate with reality. If he had collected the images from reality, it would be fine because these exist in reality. But he starts to relate with fantasies. He lives in that imaginary world and does not see what he really has. Once he associates with that imaginary world, he is no longer in the present moment. He is already dreaming.

Even if the dream gets fulfilled, the moment it gets fulfilled, the mind will start running behind a new pursuit, a new imagination. Only when it does this can the mind survive. If there was nothing to run behind, the mind or ego cannot exist. 

We don’t understand that every tomorrow comes only as today. When the tomorrow comes as today, we simply miss it because we are now looking at tomorrow once again!

When we work without unnecessarily thinking about the result, all our energies will be used towards realizing the goal. The energy will not be dissipated in imagining the results. The power of desire, iccha shakti, will be converted to the power of action, kriya shakti. The desire may initially be a goal, but what is important is the path that the action must focus on and not the end result. The goal is merely a byproduct. 

Suppose a child is playing with some small toy and you bring him a new big toy. If you take away the small toy from its hands, what will the child do? It will start yelling and crying. Even if you explain you have a much better, bigger toy, will it listen? No! Just give it the new toy and suddenly, it will forget the old one and start enjoying the new one. 

In the same way, Existence also tries to give us a big toy. Existence is so vast and wonderous, beyond imagination. Just imagine the kind of toy the Existence has give us – the whole of Itself! Enjoy it to the fullest. Celebrate it and express your gratitude! Your mind will always tell you that the small toy, your little dreams, your ego, is the most important thing and you need it to survive. Just for a few days, try to drop your fantasies and your expectations. For a few days, decide to drop your fears and your protections of the ego. 

Just live life in a simple way, enjoying every moment, enjoying the splendor of nature. Enjoy each and every thing that Existence has created. Start observing simple yet wonderful things like the sunrise in the morning, the play of the vibrant colors and hues in the morning sky. Listen to the chirping of the birds as they get ready to enjoy a new dawn. See the flowers blooming in all their glory in the morning sun, ecstatic to open up to the warm rays of the sun. 

Just these few moments will show us a whole new dimension of our Being. They will show us what it is to enjoy life without a reason, without running behind or away from something. They will teach us how to relax into the welcoming, embracing arms of Existence. 

Cold and Flu season

As we approach cold and flu season there are several items I like to keep on hand to ward off viruses. Unless you live in a rural community or don’t venture out into public, there is no one who will not come into contact with a virus or two this fall and winter. This does not mean that you have to succumb to getting sick. I have found a few simple measures that will give your body a boost and keep you healthy despite what may be happening to your friends and colleagues.

  • Avoid the flu shot. It stresses the immune system and does not guarantee immunity to the flu or other viruses.
  • Drink green tea daily.
  • Eat lots of fresh organic fruits and vegetables and garlic, avoid sugar and junk food.
  • As a preventative or for exposure drink ginger, lemon, garlic tea. (see The Healing Power of Herbs post)
  • Take Vitamin C daily (at least 1500 mg/day) and take 1-2 gm every couple of hours if feeling ill.
  • Homeopathic Oscillococcinum. For children try Hylands Flu Care, Cold & Flu or Sniffles and Sneezes.
  • Herbs: for feeling hot, scratchy throat, headache try Yin Qiao San; or for cold or flu symptoms try Gan Mao Ling.
  • Make a Super Tonic: Ginger, Onion, Garlic, Horseradish, Hot Pepper and Bragg’s Raw Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar. Chop equal parts of each ingredient in food processor, place in mason jar to 3/4 level and fill the jar with vinegar. Ideally you let sit for 30 days in cool, dark place but if needed use before that time. Take 2-3 dropperfuls or by the teaspoonfuls!
  • Avoid antibacterial soap and hand sanitizers. Instead use tea tree oil or other essential oils like rosemary and lavender.
If you do start feeling like you are getting sick and the above measures aren’t helping consider an acupuncture treatment. Acupuncture can often halt or lessen the symptoms of colds, flus and other viruses.

 

 

 

Follow the Path

The following is an excerpt from ‘Instructions for Enlightenment’ in The Bhagavad Gita Demystified Volume 3 by Paramahamsa Nithyananda.

‘Yes, but I am happy if the results are what I want,’ you say. But how long are you happy? Human nature is such that you are never satisfied with one thing for long. You move in greed from one desire to another. Even with a simple understanding of the law of probability, you can see that half the time you will fail and be in sorrow. You will bounce back and forth between sorrow and happiness like a roller coaster ride.

You have asked, ‘How can I be unemotional? How can I be detached?’ These emotions – happiness and sorrow, irritation and excitement, violence and fear – happiness when you set goals and expectations and link your future to them. You feel that only if things happen the way you want, your future is secure; otherwise you feel your future is in jeopardy. How many of these life and death situations do you face daily, weekly or monthly? It is unlikely that we face such situations, where our life depends on what we do, more than a few times in our entire life.

The rest is pure imagination. You build fantasies and feel that unless these fantasies are realized, you will not be happy. Then it goes without saying: you will not be happy. That is why most of you are unhappy. You simply build fantasies that have no connection with real life. 

First, renounce fantasies about things you do not have. Renounce what you do not have. Live with what you have and enjoy that. We can all do this. It is perfectly possible to achieve this, is it not? There is nothing superhuman in accomplishing this, is there? You simply need to reduce your greed. Make an effort to appreciate what you already have. Make a list of everything you have, including your physical and mental faculties; then give gratitude to the Almighty for having been so compassionate. 

Once you get into this mode of being happy with what you basically need and have, which is the discipline of aparigraha laid down by Patanjali for simple living, you settle down into a mood of non-expectation. You enjoy the present instead of craving the future. 

When you move into the present moment, you renounce the past and future. Focus on the present, and what you need to do now, without worrying about what should happen. Let what happens happen. Do what you need to do. Focus on the path, not on the destination. 

When you focus on the path, you begin to enjoy the journey. The path itself has no goals fixed to it for you to achieve. So, there is no attachment. The requirement is only that you travel that path. Wherever you reach will be the right destination. 

Live life the way it is served to you. Enjoy whatever happens. Remain in the understanding that the universe is always compassionate to you. Whatever happens is for our good. Whether we realize it or not at that moment, it is good for us. This is surrender. This is renunciation. When this renunciation happens, when you trust that whatever happens is for your good, the universe smiles on you. Bliss descends on you!

Let in the Light!

The following is a question and answer from The Bhagavad Gita Demystified Volume 1 by Paramahamsa Nithyananda.

Q: Swamiji, how can we surrender the ego when this wanting to surrender is itself an expression of the ego?

A: A question to you: How are you going to surrender the ego, when it does not exist?

Suppose you are sitting in a dark room. You want the darkness to go out. Can you push it out? Can you fight darkness and force it to leave the room? No! No matter how long you keep trying, you are ultimately going to be defeated – and that too by something which does not exist!

Ego is like darkness, it has no positive existence. Just like darkness is simply the absence of light, ego is nothing but the absence of awareness. To struggle to kill the ego is like struggling to push darkness out of the room.

To really expel darkness, what you need to do is forget all about dealing with darkness. Focus your energy on light instead. Just bring a small lamp into the room, and you will find that the darkness has fled on its own!

So, I tell you to forget all about the ego. Instead, focus on bringing a lamp of awareness into your being. Bring the light of your consciousness to your unconscious zone. When your entire consciousness has become a flame, you will find that the ego is no more.

What you have heard, read been taught – ‘Surrender the ego in order to attain self-realization’ – is an utterly impractical idea. It can happen only the other way round. Self-realization dawns, and suddenly you cannot find the ego anymore. Surrender has already happened, just like that.

However, I am glad that the question has arisen in your being. Ego is the root cause for all your anxieties, sorrows and tensions. It is your doorway to hell. To actively feel that you want to drop the ego, to feel the need to get rid of this burden is in itself a step towards awareness. It shows that you are stirring from your sleep!