I am a firm believer that yes we are all going to at some point expire. My hopes are that much more aware human beings will evolve. I can not disagree that we may all have weak genetic links. The idea is to become aware of what they are. That means paying attention to our bodies. Yes, also look at our family of origins health issues.

I truly believe eating relatively organic and to the smarty pants out there that means not Skippy peanut butter get to a health food store and get it without sugar. Read the labels of what you eat. I know I like sugar at times but, I don’t want it in my apple pie. Learn to cook and cook a head of time and freeze servings in containers.

Exercise,  we can all come up with an excuse. It is a must! Women need weight bearing exercises that helps with bone loss and guess what we will need strength in our arms when we get old, to push ourselves up from a chair. Stretch! The computer is great for this Google stretching and presto, wonderful simple stretches you can even do in a chair.

Walk, run, practice yoga, dance, jump rope, lift weights, do squats while standing at your desk. Get up from that computer and stretch. Breathe, Breathe, Breathe the most important of them all.  Express your feelings! Learn how to communicate clearly. Get professional counseling when you are stuck emotionally or need to work thought family issues.

I am not writing what I am writing to offend, blame or gain a popularity contest. I am speaking from what I have seen with clients and through my own personal experiences. This is to show you how the power of words can affect you in a negative matter. I have experienced a lot of clients with Fibromyalgia the main symptom of Fibromyalgia is pain all over the body for more than 3 months. It is common for people to experience achy muscles that feel tender to the touch and morning stiffness. The pain of Fibromyalgia is a “deep” muscle pain and may be felt as: aching, shooting and burning.

The pain may not always be the same. For some people with Fibromyalgia, the pain and stiffness are worst when they wake up, improve during the day, and increase again at night. But others have all-day, non-stop pain. For many, the pain gets worse with physical activity, stress, or anxiety. Fibromyalgia patients may be more sensitive to the light and the temperature as well.

Along with overall pain, people with Fibromyalgia have many specific parts of the body that are tender to the touch, also known as tender points. These include: the front and back of the neck, mid to the upper back of the shoulders, elbows, upper portion of the buttocks, hips and knees.

This is where my theory comes in. I believe no one should own a name a doctor came up with. Your body hurts! Period. You don’t have to own this for life. It hurts you today. The body is all connected, and part of your body is called connective tissue. You have muscles that are attached to bone, tendons and ligaments and they have a memory. That memory is attached to pain in this case of this thing some doctor named Fibromyalgia. I hope your following me here. My belief is that this all started with some sort of trauma.

When our emotions are not expressed where do the emotions go? Into the body and more of the same things continue to happen, usually unhealthy things. Why? because we continue to push that “thing” away by not dealing with it. We split off from it but, our wonderful bodies keep trying to tell us, pay attention to me I hurt. Oh, you won’t listen I’ll hurt louder.

How do I know this because I hurt all over at one point too. I drank the pain away. Presto, I got sober and the pain got really, really bad. I needed to get that pain out and I listened to my body for the first time at age 26 after drinking and doing drugs since I was 12 years old. I went to Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings and dumped all that toxic childhood pain and sought out professional counseling.

To be honest  Alcoholic’s Anonymous was like being in hell for me most of the time but, I just kept going. I didn’t do a lot of what they told me and frankly I am glad I didn’t. I found a good therapist. I did not befriend too many people there. I went talked, cried, screamed and went 3 times a day some days. Most important I listened and I took what I liked and left the rest. What was interesting is as I talked and cried I could literally feel the pain lift from my body. A.A. meetings saved my life I truly believe!

There are people I have shared my belief with about this pain body that occurs with trauma of any kind and they think I am crazy. No, I just believe that you can truly let it go with doing some soul searching. It is never just cut and dry. All the things listed above we play a part in this natural cure process. It’s not always popping pills and some times pills are needed but, maybe some really good fish oils, vitamin D, a good liquid vitamin, liquid B complex, Massage Therapy, Chiropractic, Acupuncture and a really good  nutritionist for eating.

There will be plenty of painful emotions in our life times and if you feel the pain, cry, scream get it out I truly believe we can all live healthier lives by communicating and emoting not masking the problem with pharmaceutical drugs and crippling diseases. The body is in dis- ease so let’s help ourselves heal with words, action, whole foods and movement forward in a positive direction.

I am sure I will get some crazed responses but, before you say or think them sit with what you just ingested and know that all the above can not happen over night it didn’t for me. Try just giving it a chance. There are also really good nutritionists out there that can be really helpful or do your own research first like I do.

This has to be about one of the most beautiful and meaningful book that I have ever read. The author of the book is Kirsten Kubnert. It is her story about her journey with her son Timmy. The book is called Every Day A Little Miracle – The Gift of The Dolphins. This story not only made me realize how we all take everyday for granted, not fully realizing  how lucky we all really are.

This is the story of a mother who is gifted with two little babies who were born absolutely perfect. Then one tragic day Kirsten’s son Timmy fell onto a shallow filled pool of water that should have been filled in and just lay there in ruin. Timmy’s lifeless body was brought back to life.  The night mare was his mother Kirsten was told he would have to be fed through a feeding tube, that he had brain damage and he would pretty much be a lifeless body. The story is about Timmy and her journey to hell and back. The book talks about Kirsten’s loss of her marriage, friends the doctors that told her Timmy was hopeless, the doctor that believed he would get better and the people who stood by her side through their journey.

Kirsten’s strong will and love for her child Timmy proves that love and the power behind that love, the feeding tube was removed and he slowly was able to eat, he did understand what his mother was saying to him and with the help of the dolphins he came out of the world where his mother could not reach him. The most tremendous help which proved to be a miracle for Timmy and many other children came from, The Dolphin Human Therapy Program founded by Dr. David E. Nathanson, the man who conceived of and brought to life The Dolphin human therapy program. I truly suggest you check out each of these web sites- http://www.islanddolphincare.org and http://www.dolphinaid.org these programs have become a miracle for many families with children with autism, brain damage, and other debilitating illnesses. This is a story of the courage of many parents and the healing ability and love for humans by the Dolphins.

The book was very profound to me in many ways but, there was one special excerpt that touched my heart so very, very deeply, that I wanted to share it. I am not saying that you by any means should believe as I do but, once again I found a book that I was supposed to read and possibly what I’m about to share with you will open your mind to different way of looking at things.

This is in her book and written by her, some of this may be a little confusing because these are personal friends and meanings but, I am sure you will understand on some level, I hope so. I read this to my good friend in Georgia and cried so hard that it was hard for me to read it out loud to him and he asked me if I would write it for him so I did and here it is.

This is Kirsten’s letter to a friend in her book:

God hovered above the earth and chose with great care and thought he’s instruments for the protection of the species.

He observed everything carefully and dictated to his angels from internal propagation book.

‘Betty Miller, daughter, guardian angel Matthew; Ivy Smith, son, guardian angel Gabriel; Carol King, son, guardian angel? Give her Jonathan, he’s used to swearing.

At the end he dictated to an angel a name to write down, and say with a smile, ‘I’ll give her a handicapped child’.

The angel is astonished. Why have you chosen her God? She’s so happy.’

‘That’s exactly why’, God says, and continued to smile. ‘ How can I give a sick child to mother who can’t laugh? That would be cruel.’

‘She doesn’t have much patience either’, the angel said.

’ I don’t want her to have patience. Otherwise she will drown in a sea of sadness and self-pity. When the first pain and shock of past, she will pick herself up and get on with things flawlessly. I watched her today. She has the right feeling of independence and self-confidence. And that, alas, is very rare in mothers, but absolutely necessary. Listen to me-  the child that I will give her will live in another, in its own world. She must encourage it, and bring it so far that it lives in her world. That won’t be easy.’

‘ But Lord, said the angel,’ as far as I can see she doesn’t even believe in you’.

And God grinned to himself.

‘That doesn’t matter. I’ll take care of that. Yes, yes, I think that she will be very capable she is egoist enough.’

The angel gasped for breath:- ‘egoist? Is that really something good?

God answered with a yes. ’ When she doesn’t sometimes distance herself from the child, she will not survive the burden, and it will be hard for her anyway, to cope with everything. It’s exactly this woman to whom I will give a child that is not perfect. She doesn’t know it, but she is really something to be jealous of.  She will never take a spoken word for granted, not a single step as something every day in normal.  When her child says Mama,  for the first time, it will be clear to her that this is a miracle that she is experiencing. When she describes her blind child a tree early sunset, she will see these things as only a few see my creations. I will make it possible for her to recognize everything which I recognize. Cruelty, prejudiced, ignorance. I will allow her to rise above these things.  She will never be alone, every day of her life every minute, because she does my work as surely as if she were sitting next to me.

I personally want to thank Kirsten Kubert, although our paths were very different and I don’t have a child and at times that pains me. I had a very high mountain to climb too. I will never know the bond of a mother and her child but, being an Empath I do believe I have an idea. I hope for all that suffer that you know you have the strength Kirsten has and you will get through the hardest of times. I would also like to say one of the most wonderful gifts God has given us are the animals on this earth, especially our pets how God like they are and the Dolphins well… they, I believe are the closest of all to God. Dolphins will always bring joy to me even thinking about them. The healing power of the Dolphin and their care for us, is still beyond my comprehension

I wanted to write this to all the parents who have special needs children and parents who have lost a child. My heart is filled with compassion for you and I hope that you may believe as I do, that God is always with you always giving you the strength you need and holding you in his arms when you feel you can’t go on. This is for you most of all Lynn, you too I will always love and you will always be in my heart as well as your family, I love you!

Imagine a world where everyone took responsibility for their actions? Every day people did random acts of kindness though out the day. A planet that held the ability to communicate articulately with the highest regard and to understand each feeling we have in order to understand ourselves better. We would hold ourselves accountable for what we created around us and make changes for better outcomes. To clarify what I just said; choose our net work of friends wisely, build our self-esteem and become our own best friend and parent, set goals, know that we deserve respect and to give respect in return. We all have the ability to say I’m sorry or I did not mean to hurt you. All of us need to own you wrong doings and harsh reactions. We have the ability to act instead of react. I truly believe that this is what we all need to focus on and become experts at or the world around us will continue to get worse.

How many people do you think realize that every time they think negative thoughts such as; I’ll never find this or I’m not good enough for that or I’ll never have enough to get that, see that those thoughts become there reality because that is what they believe they deserve with extreme passion. Why not change those thoughts to, I am strong, I am powerful, I am totally capable of healing myself. I am beautiful, I am perfect. I have endless ideas that will bring money to me effortlessly and my bank account continues to grow. My job/career is not my only source of income and I am infinitely creative.  I guess to most it’s much more comfortable to think negatively, why, because we are programmed negatively and it is time to make a shift in our thinking and use more of our brains change comes from within and the thoughts we think.

I sit here scratching my head, (not really) wondering why all these years why I didn’t realize how capable I was to shift my thinking. I actually do know why, a mentally ill mother who I felt responsibly for. I saw it to the end and feel wonderful about my decision and forgive my family. Now my life is free to be everything I dreamed of…I am free, open to all possibilities. I choose my thoughts. I choose how I react. I choose to make this a wonderful day. I choose to be kind and loving to those around me. It is a choice for all of us and it is up to us to realize the power behind choice and choosing. I’ve been paying close attention to the thoughts that I think, how I respond and how not to buy into other peoples projections. My family thought me a very good lesson as all of our families did. It is much easier to excuse yourself and walk away from a person screaming at you. It is also very important to ask yourself why you choice to stay a victim or stay in a relationship that is not working…

I’m working on changing the way that I think and the words that I use everyday. I highly recommend a DVD and audio version of the “Secret”, by, Rhonda Byrne, for everyone to watch every day for at least a month. I mean really listen. Make a vision board of all the things that you want to happen in your life. The home you want to live in. What your surroundings would be. The relationships you want. Become the athlete and artist. It is effortless if you trust that all the answers are inside and the ones that you don’t know ask for them. Thinking thoughts that are positive and realizing that the only thing that limits us is our thoughts. We can have everything we desire if we are willing to do the foot work and not project that it will be hard, because it doesn’t have to be, we make it hard.

I have been in bodywork, healing and working on myself for 24 years and I mean really working on myself to heal.  I truly believe the only way to be happy is to deal with the garbage that we ruminate on in our heads. Heal our childhood wounds and truly get to know who we are and understand why we react to the things we do. We must do this work in order to become whole before we can truly be content and at peace with ourselves. Then we can do the work we love because it will come from pure hearts.  When the work is done we know longer even talk about it. The pain is gone and it is for none of us to judge another’s healing time unless you have walked in there shoes. I know very few that have that deep compassion most judge, only the wounded healers understand for the most part.

I worked at over 1000 bodies easily since 1994 and I see a lot of commonalities. Most people come to you as a last resort; I’m hoping that will change. They go to doctors and are given muscle relaxers or sent to physical therapy and months later there at the same spot, in pain.

I am hoping that after repeating the same thing over and over again and getting the same results people realize that is the definition of insanity. I’m hoping people come to me first and we can resolve the issue and I can give educated suggestions on how to not have this issue happen again. Most people do not the importance of drinking at the least 2 Liters of water a day, that is what I drink weighing 120 pounds at 5’5’’. You should also be in taking your body weight in protein, so in other words I should to grow more muscle eat 120 grams of protein a day. We need 1 gram of protein per 1 pound of weight. I also see people going 90 miles an hour and that includes me. One of the best changes that I made my life was taking The Art of Living and no, this is not a religious cult. It is by far one of the finest breathing and meditation courses from India. I know Meditate and Prana Breath almost every day for 45 minutes. The results for many people that I know have taken the course was their anxiety disappeared, they went off high blood pressure medication, their stress level decreased by more than half and they had a way to remove stress completely from their bodies. What makes me laugh is I would pay for the information above and I wonder how many people will even Google The Art of Living. The great thing is I know that my clients and my friends that have gone and taken a course can thank me enough. I have to understand they were already to get better and to find tools to help them do so.

My hope for you and myself is that we all continue to grow, heal and help to heal this planet. That we remember that every animal on this planet deserves respect and love, I’m not just talking about our pets, I am talking about how farm animals are treated and how we can take a stand and speak up by our meat intake. This is not only for the animals, although it is for me. I think if most of you understood in the amount of God knows what that is injected into these animals you would want to eat them. I will continue to not to fight because fighting just causes more fighting. I will continue to talk to people about eating less meat and watching some videos that show you what is really done to animals in farms, in China and how animals are skinned alive for their fur, so you can look glamorous. I no longer buy leather unless I decide to move to Alaska I really feel no need to wear fur or to mount a head of an animal on my wall. We can all make such a difference; again this is your choice!

I’m still baffled when I look around me. I am by no means even close to perfect. I do a thoroughly believe in applying preventative care to my life. I am hoping that this reaches some people that can apply this formula that I have for self-care. We can no longer afford to do what our parents did. What this looks like for me as far as my parents where concerned was that she got sick and you went to a doctor and took a pill. I am sure that we absolutely cannot afford to live in that type of denial any longer. Doctors are not God. Pharmaceutical companies could give a damn about any of us, we are their guinea pigs. We all need to wake up and to do it now.

As most of us know most of the things that benefit our health are not covered by insurance. That upsets me as I am sure it upsets you. Living in the solution is the answer. The solution to me is self-care which includes massage therapy, chiropractic, exercise/yoga, meditation, walking and turning off the large screen TV and reading spiritual books that help us to grow and learn.

The other major and most important part of our lifestyle is what we eat. Whole grains, like oatmeal, oat bran and other fibers are key to good health. Fruits and vegetables are another key ingredients to good health. I found a product called Mona-Vie which I am a distributor of that provides a daily supply of high antioxidants super fruits, I also enjoy eating real food as well. When it comes to protein I can no longer eat animal products. My hopes to all Americans are to take a look at what it’s done to the animals that you eat and put on your plate for your family. I will say again I would not be able to sleep at night with a clear conscious with what I know about the brutal inhumane way our farm animals are treated plus was injected into them goes into you. There are plenty alternatives that probably cost less. Nuts are high source of protein, seeds and tofu. I am sure I have left out some other sources of protein. I still do eat fish but there are only a few fish that are low in mercury, some of these are Pacific by Atlantic herring, mackerel, wild Alaskan salmon, sardines, scallops and shrimp I always make sure that none of these are farm raised and all our wild Alaskan Canadian or Pacific as we know our oceans are being destroyed to. These are educated suggestions. It is also a very good idea to steam your vegetables. As I understand it, unless you’re a cow with two stomachs chewing raw vegetables is extremely hard on the digestive system. It’s up to you to do the research on what I say if question it.

I also strongly suggest that people acquire what is called a foam roller. It is very easy to Google the word foam roller to see what it does for you. I also suggest a foot wheel, for roller to take the tension out of your feet. There is also a wonderful local group here in Princeton New Jersey called the Art of living. The Art of living teaches us how to breathe and meditate. Most people’s problems are that they don’t breathe when they’re under stress which causes tension in the body which left untreated causes disease. I highly recommend cardiovascular exercise but I also believe we all need to learn how to breathe properly, most of us don’t all.

Stress is inevitable, I have offered solutions to stress above, yes they do cost money but you have to weigh out what is important to you. It frightens me to death to even think about being in the hospital. I get a massage every two weeks and I get chiropractic adjustments once a week and follow the above protocol. It works for me but also as important is to take a look at the people you surround yourself with, do they create drama or do they bring peace, joy, laughter and support to your life. If they don’t live in the solution and make the changes you need to. To wallow in pain and suffering does us no good. This is important to grieve when necessary, crying brings healing and looking at our pasts to make changes in ourselves is a good thing but living in the past would just bring pain. Your thoughts create your reality and I truly believe we are also blessed and most of us can’t even see it because we take things for granted. It’s time to look beyond yourself, to see what she can give back and together we can change this world for the better one step at a time.

Spring is almost here and it’s the year 2010 and I myself am looking forward to great changes and healing of what is now needed on this planet. It always seems to get to almost to breaking point before change comes about. I do believe we are at the breaking point. I see a lot in pressure on people at their workplaces, over sized or poor living conditions, traveling for work and money stress and of course it’s easy for me to see it in people’s bodies and energy as a body worker and healer. I do believe that people will start relying less on doctors and pharmaceuticals and looking more inside and paying attention to their bodies. I think that more and more people will start getting massages, chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture, therapy and using other healing modalities. I believe people will be practicing yoga, meditating and exercising more.

I think the biggest change that still needs to come about and will come about is our awareness of how farm animals such as all meats and poultry are treated and slaughtered and how that affects all of us. We still need to become more consciously aware that we are what we eat, the proportional sizes of food intake and why we are eating?  There needs to be much more awareness on what is going on especially with poultry and beef and all animals on this planet.

I have come to admire and respect the Jewish community and have learned what the meaning of kosher really is. I’ve always believed that there was a proper way, if one chose to kill an animal. I would think as intelligent human beings that we would know that to cut the juggler vein on an animal is the most humane way of killing an animal. That is what is meant by kosher; a Rabbi watches and make sure that the animal is killed in the most gentle way possible. I think to myself, why of course would either way would you do it? That is what I came to find out and was mortified to the point of never eating the flesh of an animal again. I will speak for America because that’s the country I live in. We are barbaric in our treatment of livestock as well as pets! Then we are shocked when swine flu, bird flu and mad cow disease is found here and there. Did you think that the animals chose to give that to us???? Of course the answer is no, it is greedy, self-centered, barbaric, human beings. How you bring about change? You stop supporting that which is inhumane and barbaric. If you have no care for animals which is most certainly a large population out there of sick people then just look at the fact that meat is just plain bad for your health at least under the conditions we are in now and the over sized pieces of flesh people eat. I have more and more respect for Hannibal Lector these days than with the people I am hearing about and coming across. SMILE!

I am frightened for those that eat chicken, hamburger and any other meat as well as milk. My concerns are more for the animals I must say, always can count on me for the truth! I don’t know what your concerns are but, to give you the benefit of the doubt I would hope you care some what about the treatment of a life. What I think is there is so much disassociation with people from looking at that plastic wrapped, slab of meat at the not-food market to the fact that this was a once in animal and how brutally it was treated its whole life. The facts are there if you want to know them. The amount of hormones and other chemicals you are ingesting would blow your mind. The sick animals that you’re serving your children for dinner… you don’t even want to know. The glass of milk you pour to have your children drink again the amount of hormones and chemicals in that milk are more toxic than nutritional.

I believe we all want to know the truth and that we want animals to be treated humanely as we would want to be treated ourselves. They are not something we own. We are their guardians. They are not a piece of property. They were put here on earth the same as we were, we just decided how they be treated and it like shit and I am tired of it, sick and tired, What goes around comes around though and the simple truth is an animal that is killed with unnecessary stress sends toxins into their bodies, you in turn eat it. This is a subterfuge! A pandemic kept under tight guard for the people who chose to be blind.  If it is not corrected soon we will see much more disease spread from animals to people, much more plagues, more unnecessary deaths and it is all due to uncaring greedy people. Wake up America! A lot of my blogs are graphic and videos are hard to watch but again you can choose to say I don’t want to see it and do nothing about it but, just remember the definition of insanity is, repeating the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. Everyone on this planet needs to eat less meat and poultry and this will force change to come about. That is if you care?

I believe great things are possible if we take responsibility into our hands and make the choice to make a difference, watch it will affect everything, our thoughts, our energy, our health and well-being of our planet.

I started drinking whole milk for the first time since I was a teenager a few months ago. I found a dairy farm in Newtown, Pennsylvania where they sell wall milk. It was exciting to drink something that was almost a meal and also to know that animal was treated like a pet. The sweet cow wasn’t overused, over bread and allowed to see the outdoors; be an animal not a machine, what a concept and in return we are given a gift of raw milk. It actually helps with asthma, autism and some people that are lactose intolerant actually can drink raw milk because the enzyme is not pasteurized out of  the milk, my heaven’s it is healthy!

It’s amazing the things that can happen when we don’t take advantage and become greedy. Can you take a look at your life and say I made the difference? If the answer is no, today’s a new day and you can start making a difference, in how you take care of yourself and others, including animals, in really and truly caring about everything that you do and also putting your foot down and speaking up for the truth and then do something about it.

Hummmmmm….. know what could massage therapy and whole health have to do with animals? It seems that some people looking at my website and clicking on my blog where a tad bit upset! How dare me to be a massage therapist and discuss animals? Why that’s just absurd! I will explain to you what animals and whole health and massage have to do with each other.

The most important truth in my life is about getting information out to the public on our world and what affects us as far as mind, body and spirit. My massage will always make you better, always! If I can not say that after 16 years of  doing healing work I better just hang it up! The question is what are we doing to make the world around us more healthy and creating change for the better in some way? I am sick of  hearing people complain and point fingers. I am sick and tired of hearing people saying, I can’t watch that it’s too upsetting! Well, my friends that’s called denial, we have a major pandemic on our hands, It is not only about our health, another words it’s not about your small world it is about the world as a whole and how what is going on effects us all!. The bird flu, the swine flu and mad cow disease do you people think that this is some disease the animal decided to cast upon us?

This is about what we need to know about how our animals/wildlife are treated because baby, you are what you eat! If you have no concern and want to stay in denial about the poisons that are being put in your body by what you consume because, you choose not to watch or listen to information that might be a little bit unsettling to you, that’s too damn bad!

The dairy farms and where chickens are raised, let us focus on these two meets that we ingest. It would be wise for you to find out what goes on behind closed doors and start giving a damn, because change needs to happen for the animals first and for most, their inhumane conditions are sickening and you people, well you eat it and if that can be your only reason to care so be it!

I am about helping people to heal and I do so everyday and I do not have a problem saying I am a hard act to follow! I help to bring light where there is darkness and help to make changes to my clients to inform them on how they can stay healthy, behave in a manner that is humane, decent, loving and caring because that is what brings about the balance in our health, body, mind and spirit. If we choose to say that animals are separate from us, that they are property and that they have no rights you need to take a look at how you view things and maybe take a look in the mirror.

If you can or choose to make a decision that by looking at my blog and thinking that information doesn’t belong there that’s your business. My blog has anything to do with my knowledge of the mind, body and spirit. It has nothing to do with the fact that I am a great massage therapist either. I don’t know how many of my clients have said to me you are a tough act to follow. How do you find a massage therapist that is as good as you? Well the answer to that is, I haven’t yet! I have yet to meet anyone that listens, asks the right questions and truly cares yet alone knows what they are doing with someone’s body. I didn’t ask you in the first place to judge me on my blog. My website gives you enough information to let you know that I certainly know what I’m doing.

So once again, it’s your loss if you base my Massage knowledge on the intelligence of my blog. Nothing is separate, that’s the problem with all of us, it’s shown in Chinese medicine which is 3,000 years old, we are not separate from this planet, the animals, plants, environment or of people on it. I’m not concerned about who does not come to my practice quite honestly if my blog bothers you that much you might want to ask yourself why. It has nothing to do with me. I don’t want you as a client if really important information like this, so called turns you off, go else where.

Have a peaceful and mindful spring. I know that a lot of changes for the good are happening right now. It’s nice to know that you’re a part of bringing about these changes I know I am!  Book a Massage today and feel the difference of a great massage. It is also good to know that part of your money goes to help those that are less fortunate. One thing good to take note of  is some thing that was written by Albert Einstein, “The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.”

The Art of Living: Vipassana Meditation

Everyone seeks peace and harmony, because this is what we lack in our lives. From time to time we all experience agitation, irritation, dishar­mony. And when we suffer from these miseries, we don’t keep them to ourselves; we often distribute them to others as well. Unhappiness permeates the atmosphere around someone who is miserable, and those who come in contact with such a person also become affected. Certainly this is not a skillful way to live.

We ought to live at peace with ourselves, and at peace with others. After all, human beings are social beings, having to live in society and deal with each other. But how are we to live peacefully? How are we to remain harmonious within, and maintain peace and harmony around us, so that others can also live peacefully and harmoniously?

In order to be relieved of our misery, we have to know the basic reason for it, the cause of the suffering. If we investigate the problem, it becomes clear that whenever we start generating any negativity or impurity in the mind, we are bound to become unhappy. A negativity in the mind, a mental defilement or impurity, cannot coexist with peace and harmony.

How do we start generating negativity? Again, by investigation, it becomes clear. We become unhappy when we find someone behaving in a way that we don’t like, or when we find something happening which we don’t like. Unwanted things happen and we create tension within. Wanted things do not happen, some obstacle comes in the way, and again we create tension within; we start tying knots within. And throughout life, unwanted things keep on happening, wanted things may or may not happen, and this process of reaction, of tying knots—Gordian knots—makes the entire mental and physical structure so tense, so full of negativity, that life becomes miserable.

Now, one way to solve this problem is to arrange that nothing unwanted happens in life, that everything keeps on happening exactly as we desire. Either we must develop the power, or somebody else who will come to our aid must have the power, to see that unwanted things do not happen and that everything we want happens. But this is impossible. There is no one in the world whose desires are always fulfilled, in whose life everything happens according to his or her wishes, without anything unwanted happening. Things constantly occur that are contrary to our desires and wishes. So the question arises: how can we stop reacting blindly when confronted with things that we don’t like? How can we stop creating tension and remain peaceful and harmonious?

In India, as well as in other countries, wise saintly persons of the past studied this problem—the problem of human suffering—and found a solution: if something unwanted happens and you start to react by generating anger, fear or any negativity, then, as soon as possible, you should divert your attention to something else. For example, get up, take a glass of water, start drinking—your anger won’t multiply; on the other hand, it’ll begin to subside. Or start counting: one, two, three, four. Or start repeating a word, or a phrase, or some mantra, perhaps the name of a god or saintly person towards whom you have devotion; the mind is diverted, and to some extent you’ll be free of the negativity, free of the anger.

This solution was helpful; it worked. It still works. Responding like this, the mind feels free from agitation. However, the solution works only at the conscious level. In fact, by diverting the attention you push the negativity deep into the unconscious, and there you continue to generate and multiply the same defilement. On the surface there is a layer of peace and harmony, but in the depths of the mind there is a sleeping volcano of suppressed negativity which sooner or later may erupt in a violent explosion.

Other explorers of inner truth went still further in their search and, by experiencing the reality of mind and matter within themselves, recognized that diverting the attention is only running away from the problem. Escape is no solution; you have to face the problem. Whenever negativity arises in the mind, just observe it, face it. As soon as you start to observe a mental impurity, it begins to lose its strength and slowly withers away.

A good solution; it avoids both extremes—suppression and expression. Burying the negativity in the unconscious will not eradicate it, and allowing it to manifest as unwholesome physical or vocal actions will only create more problems. But if you just observe, then the defilement passes away and you are free of it.

This sounds wonderful, but is it really practical? It’s not easy to face one’s own impurities. When anger arises, it so quickly overwhelms us that we don’t even notice. Then, overpowered by anger, we perform physical or vocal actions which harm ourselves and others. Later, when the anger has passed, we start crying and repenting, begging pardon from this or that person or from God: “Oh, I made a mistake, please excuse me!” But the next time we are in a similar situation, we again react in the same way. This continual repenting doesn’t help at all.

The difficulty is that we are not aware when negativity starts. It begins deep in the unconscious mind, and by the time it reaches the conscious level it has gained so much strength that it overwhelms us, and we cannot observe it.

Suppose that I employ a private secretary, so that whenever anger arises he says to me, “Look, anger is starting!” Since I cannot know when this anger will start, I’ll need to hire three private secretaries for three shifts, around the clock! Let’s say I can afford it, and anger begins to arise. At once my secretary tells me, “Oh look—anger has started!” The first thing I’ll do is rebuke him: “You fool! You think you’re paid to teach me?” I’m so overpowered by anger that good advice won’t help.

Suppose wisdom does prevail and I don’t scold him. Instead, I say, “Thank you very much. Now I must sit down and observe my anger.” Yet, is it possible? As soon as I close my eyes and try to observe anger, the object of the anger immediately comes into my mind—the person or incident which initiated the anger. Then I’m not observing the anger itself; I’m merely observing the external stimulus of that emotion. This will only serve to multiply the anger, and is therefore no solution. It is very difficult to observe any abstract negativity, abstract emotion, divorced from the external object which originally caused it to arise.

However, someone who reached the ultimate truth found a real solution. He discovered that whenever any impurity arises in the mind, physically two things start happening simultaneously. One is that the breath loses its normal rhythm. We start breathing harder whenever negativity comes into the mind. This is easy to observe. At a subtler level, a biochemical reaction starts in the body, resulting in some sensation. Every impurity will generate some sensation or the other within the body.

This presents a practical solution. An ordinary person cannot observe abstract defilements of the mind—abstract fear, anger or passion. But with proper training and practice it is very easy to observe respiration and body sensations, both of which are directly related to mental defilements.

Respiration and sensations will help in two ways. First, they will be like private secretaries. As soon as a negativity arises in the mind, the breath will lose its normality; it will start shouting, “Look, something has gone wrong!” And we cannot scold the breath; we have to accept the warning. Similarly, the sensations will tell us that something has gone wrong. Then, having been warned, we can start observing the respiration, start observing the sensations, and very quickly we find that the negativity passes away.

This mental-physical phenomenon is like a coin with two sides. On one side are the thoughts and emotions arising in the mind, on the other side are the respiration and sensations in the body. Any thoughts or emotions, any mental impurities that arise manifest themselves in the breath and the sensations of that moment. Thus, by observing the respiration or the sensations, we are in fact observing mental impurities. Instead of running away from the problem, we are facing reality as it is. As a result, we discover that these impurities lose their strength; they no longer overpower us as they did in the past. If we persist, they eventually disappear altogether and we begin to live a peaceful and happy life, a life increasingly free of negativities.

In this way the technique of self-observation shows us reality in its two aspects, inner and outer. Previously we only looked outward, missing the inner truth. We always looked outside for the cause of our unhappiness; we always blamed and tried to change the reality outside. Being ignorant of the inner reality, we never understood that the cause of suffering lies within, in our own blind reactions toward pleasant and unpleasant sensations.

Now, with training, we can see the other side of the coin. We can be aware of our breathing and also of what is happening inside. Whatever it is, breath or sensation, we learn just to observe it without losing our mental balance. We stop reacting and multiplying our misery. Instead, we allow the defilements to manifest and pass away.

The more one practices this technique, the more quickly negativities will dissolve. Gradually the mind becomes free of defilements, becomes pure. A pure mind is always full of love—selfless love for all others, full of compassion for the failings and sufferings of others, full of joy at their success and happiness, full of equanimity in the face of any situation.

When one reaches this stage, the entire pattern of one’s life changes. It is no longer possible to do anything vocally or physically which will disturb the peace and happiness of others. Instead, a balanced mind not only becomes peaceful, but the surrounding atmosphere also becomes permeated with peace and harmony, and this will start affecting others, helping others too.

By learning to remain balanced in the face of everything experienced inside, one develops detachment towards all that one encounters in external situations as well. However, this detachment is not escapism or indifference to the problems of the world. Those who regularly practice Vipassana become more sensitive to the sufferings of others, and do their utmost to relieve suffering in whatever way they can—not with any agitation, but with a mind full of love, compassion and equanimity. They learn holy indifference—how to be fully committed, fully involved in helping others, while at the same time maintaining balance of mind. In this way they remain peaceful and happy, while working for the peace and happiness of others.

This is what the Buddha taught: an art of living. He never established or taught any religion, any “ism”. He never instructed those who came to him to practice any rites or rituals, any empty formalities. Instead, he taught them just to observe nature as it is, by observing the reality inside. Out of ignorance we keep reacting in ways which harm ourselves and others. But when wisdom arises—the wisdom of observing reality as it is—this habit of reacting falls away. When we cease to react blindly, then we are capable of real action—action proceeding from a balanced mind, a mind which sees and understands the truth. Such action can only be positive, creative, helpful to ourselves and to others.

What is necessary, then, is to “know thyself”—advice which every wise person has given. We must know ourselves, not just intellectually in the realm of ideas and theories, and not just emotionally or devotionally, simply accepting blindly what we have heard or read. Such knowledge is not enough. Rather, we must know reality experientially. We must experience directly the reality of this mental-physical phenomenon. This alone is what will help us be free of our suffering.

This direct experience of our own inner reality, this technique of self-observation, is what is called Vipassana meditation. In the language of India in the time of the Buddha, passana meant seeing in the ordinary way, with one’s eyes open; but vipassana is observing things as they actually are, not just as they appear to be. Apparent truth has to be penetrated, until we reach the ultimate truth of the entire psycho-physical structure. When we experience this truth, then we learn to stop reacting blindly, to stop creating negativities—and naturally the old ones are gradually eradicated. We become liberated from misery and experience true happiness.

There are three steps to the training given in a meditation course. First, one must abstain from any action, physical or vocal, which disturbs the peace and harmony of others. One cannot work to liberate oneself from impurities of the mind while at the same time continuing to perform deeds of body and speech which only multiply them. Therefore, a code of morality is the essential first step of the practice. One undertakes not to kill, not to steal, not to commit sexual misconduct, not to tell lies, and not to use intoxicants. By abstaining from such actions, one allows the mind to quiet down sufficiently in order to proceed further.

The next step is to develop some mastery over this wild mind by training it to remain fixed on a single object, the breath. One tries to keep one’s attention on the respiration for as long as possible. This is not a breathing exercise; one does not regulate the breath. Instead, one observes natural respiration as it is, as it comes in, as it goes out. In this way one further calms the mind so that it is no longer overpowered by intense negativities. At the same time, one is concentrating the mind, making it sharp and penetrating, capable of the work of insight.

These first two steps, living a moral life, and controlling the mind, are very necessary and beneficial in themselves, but they will lead to suppression of negativities unless one takes the third step: purifying the mind of defilements by developing insight into one’s own nature. This is Vipassana: experiencing one’s own reality by the systematic and dispassionate observation within oneself of the ever-changing mind-matter phenomenon manifesting itself as sensations. This is the culmination of the teaching of the Buddha: self-purification by self-observation.

It can be practiced by one and all. Everyone faces the problem of suffering. It is a universal malady which requires a universal remedy, not a sectarian one. When one suffers from anger, it’s not Buddhist anger, Hindu anger, or Christian anger. Anger is anger. When one becomes agitated as a result of this anger, this agitation is not Christian, or Jewish, or Muslim. The malady is universal. The remedy must also be universal.

Vipassana is such a remedy. No one will object to a code of living which respects the peace and harmony of others. No one will object to developing control over the mind. No one will object to developing insight into one’s own nature, by which it is possible to free the mind of negativities. Vipassana is a universal path.

Observing reality as it is by observing the truth inside—this is knowing oneself directly and experientially. As one practices, one keeps freeing oneself from the misery of mental impurities. From the gross, external, apparent truth, one penetrates to the ultimate truth of mind and matter. Then one transcends that, and experiences a truth which is beyond mind and matter, beyond time and space, beyond the conditioned field of relativity: the truth of total liberation from all defilements, all impurities, all suffering. Whatever name one gives this ultimate truth is irrelevant; it is the final goal of everyone.

May you all experience this ultimate truth. May all people be free from misery. May they enjoy real peace, real harmony, real happiness.

MAY ALL BEINGS BE HAPPY

The above text is based upon a talk given by Mr. S.N. Goenka in Berne, Switzerland.