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.”

Dear Coalition Member,

Freezing PA Chained Dog

Thank you for joining the PA Anti-Tethering Coalition and supporting House Bill 1254. As we are in the midst of “Snowmeggedon 2” here in Central Pennsylvania, take a moment and think of all the dogs chained outside right now in the freezing cold, snow covering their doghouses, without any relief in sight. Imagine how it feels to be a chained dog today, no way out, no escape, and with caretakers who truly are unmoved by your plight.

How does this make you feel? Kinda’ helpless, we know. But now, think of us as a group, together, and what we have the power to DO for these dogs! If we rise up, strong and powerful, and INSIST that things change for chained dogs in Pennsylvania, our voices WILL be heard and our bill WILL be passed.

UPDATE:  You can now view the names of those who wished to have their first name, last initial and city shown on the UNCHAINPADOGS website under the section entitled “Coalition Members.”   (Businesses are shown by name and city at the top of the list. If you have a business or a rescue or shelter and would like to be listed, please join as a business too on the coalition page or by e-mailinginfo@unchainpadogs.com)

Please be patient when first looking at this webpage.  Due to the lengthy list of fellow supports of this legislation, it takes some time for the individual names to load onto the page.

As mentioned, we had a great response, but now we need to ask you to do two things to help get this bill moving.

1.  Please see if each of you can get at least five more people to sign on to the PA Anti-Tethering Coalition by going to <www.unchainpadogs.com> and clicking on the “Join the Coalition” button.

2.  Please contact YOUR legislator directly and ask them to support this legislation.  You can find out who your legislator is by going to <www.unchainpadogs.com> and clicking on the  “Take Action Now!” button. If you choose to call your representative, call the local office.  If you choose to write, there is a sample letter on the website.  Handwritten letters are always the best!

We will  be updating the website with additional names on a weekly basis.  As soon as we have some movement on the bill in the Judiciary Committee, we will send an alert, but your calls and letters are extremely important at this time.

3. Watch these videos we made in the last few weeks of chained dogs within Pennsylvania. Rest assured there are thousands more just like these dogs, suffering and maybe dying all over the state right now. We have the power to stop this! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixSHKjoWuz4

Remember: Five Minutes of your Time Will
Save PA Dogs from a Lifetime of Misery.

Media Releases:
Dogs are Snowmeggedon’s Forgotten Victims
The World Most Unusual Valentines Go to the Dogs


North Penn Puppy Mill Watch

Give Hope To The Mill Dogs – BOYCOTT Stores That Sell Puppies



hsusad3 hsuswebad2

Mark Arabia – Owner

Pets Plus, Planet Pets Plus &

Puppytown Pet Store Chain

Pets Plus/Planet Pets Plus/PuppyTown has EIGHT stores within the Delaware Valley at the following locations:


Pets Plus USA
K5 Licensed = allowed 251+ dog/year
555 South Broad Street
Lansdale PA 19446

NO PA Pet Shop License on File
Warned 3 Times by PA Dept of Ag

Pets Plus
K5 Licensed = allowed 251+ dog/year
200 Blair Mill Rd
Horsham, PA 19044

2006 Inspection: Rabies Vaccinations
Not on Premises for Several Dogs

Planet Pets Plus
K5 Licensed = allowed 251+ dog/year
117 S West End Blvd
Quakertown, PA 18951

Report of Puppies Being Beaten
in 2005 Inspection Report

Planet Pets Plus

K5 Licensed = allowed 251+ dog/year
200 West Ridge Pike
Conshohocken, PA  19428

Dogs without Rabies Shots and
Records not on Property in
2004 and 2005 Inspections

Pets Plus Pet Center

K5 Licensed = allowed 251+ dog/year
9902 Roosevelt Blvd
Philadelphia, PA 19115

Unsatisfactory Inspections for
Maintenance, Water Resistance, Sanitization
Flies, Gnats & Dirty Cages Noted
in 2003/No 2004 or 2005 Reports

K5 Licensed = allowed 251+ dog/year
1420 Franklin Mills Circle
Philadelphia, PA 19154

Inspection Reports for 2003 indicate
several dogs placed on 72 hour vet checks

Pets Plus Superstore
K5 Licensed = allowed 251+ dog/year
151 Lincoln Highway
Fairless Hills, PA 19030

Dogs without Rabies Shots Noted on
Inspection Reports from 2003 & 2004

Pets Plus Lawrenceville, LLC
and Pets Plus of Lawrence, Inc
111 Lawrenceville Rd
Lawrenceville, NJ 08648

Pets Plus Delran, Inc.
1321A Fairview Blvd
Delran, NJ 08075

K5 Licensed = allowed 251+ dog/year
500 W. Germantown Pike
Plymouth Meeting Mall
Plymouth Meeting, PA


no inspection reports on file with
PA Dept of Agriculture since 2004
Bill of Sale Records Missing from Premises



All consumer names, addresses and personal contact
information has been removed for privacy reasons.


When this Pets Plus customer purchased a $1,000 Shih Tzu from Pets Plus on September 07, 2008 they had no idea another $4,000.00 would be invested in vain in an attempt to save the puppy’s life; this young dog would die from Canine PARVO Virus.
A highly contagious disease, Parvo is an insideous infection that attacks the entire digestive system of dogs making it virtually impossible to absorb nutrition.  Unfortunately, and if not caught in time, the disease is almost always fatal.

Purchased by Pets Plus from Lancaster County breeder Amos W. Zimmerman, the kennel was inspected on September 25, 2008 and noted to have 372 dogs on the premises and, over the previous 12 months, 707 puppies had been sold.  Sadly, this family barely got to know their new puppy over the course of four days as she continued to become sicker and sicker until she was placed in intensive care at a veterinary emergency hospital and ultimately succumbed to the disease days later.
Read the Pets Plus puppy paperwork: CLICK HERERead inspection reports for Amos W. Zimmerman: CLICK HEREWHO’S MY DOG’S BREEDER

This paperwork for a Jack Russell puppy purchased at Pets Plus on August 31, 2008 came to North Penn Puppy Mill Watch with the specific question: where did my dog come from?  Using the sales paperwork provided by Pets Plus we had no difficulty finding the breeder, Hidden Acre Kennel in the PA Bureau of Dog Law inspection report data base.  We couldn’t help but notice, however, that this puppy had been diagnosed with canine conjunctivitis, or “pink eye” that is usually caused by an infection; the store vet had prescribed Neopolydex, a steroid/antibiotic combination.

The kennel, Hidden Acre in Lancaster County, PA was last inspected in June, 2008 and was warned for breaking Dog Law regulations
about maintenance, water resistance, housekeeping/pests and record keeping.  Inspected three times in 2008, this kennel was issued a warning and ultimately citations for an assortment of problems including one inspection where the owner was ordered to obtain veterinary care for the breeder dogs.

Read the Pets Plus puppy paperwork: CLICK HERE

Read inspection reports for Hidden Acre Kennel – CLICK HERE


In an assortment of newspaper articles, Mark Arabia, owner of the Pets Plus chain, has claimed his dogs come from ‘reputable LOCAL breeders.’  Where, exactly, do some of his dogs come from?  Have a look at ‘reputable’ breeder Leonard Moos:



March, 2007 — USDA CLOSES APPLE CREEK KENNEL More than 83 dogs were removed from the care of Leonard Moos, owner of Apple Creek Kennel, who sold his dogs by way of LAMBRIAR, a well known dog broker that sells puppies from the mills to pet stores across the nation.  Read the news article – click HERE

Purchased from Pets Plus on May 6, 2007 at FIVE MONTHS OF AGE, this new dog owner set out to find the origin of the new family pet.  Little did they know their pup had come from one of the worst mills in North Dakota.  Now exhibiting behavioral issues that may be attributed to both in-breeding and being forced to live the first five months of her life in a cage at the Quakertown, PA Pets Plus store, this puppy is actually one of the lucky ones…. her family has made a lifetime commitment and will not turn their backs on her.  The family is determined to rehabilitate their four-legged best friend, implement behavioral strategies and incorporate daily walks and the training she needs to become a balanced, healthy and happy canine.  Other dogs are not as fortunate and are frequently turned in to rescues and shelters where, if not adopted within 72 hours of surrender are often euthanized.


View the PetsPlus Acceptance of Condition of Sale document“WE CANNOT GUARANTEE THE PUPPIES WE SELL TO BE BREEDERS OR OF SHOW QUALITY” In fact, Pets Plus doesn’t guarantee much about any dog it sells; they DON’T KNOW the breeder and deal primarily with DOG BROKERS. Note the name of the breeder:  LEONARD MOOS of Bismark, North Dakota, in the lower left hand portion of the form – Click HERE

View the Broker’s (LAMBRIAR) Certificate: Click HERE

View the Pets Plus Veterinarian Health Certificate
and note that this puppy was examined on 03/15/2007 and 04/12/2007.  Supposedly born on 12/06/2006, this puppy SHOULD HAVE received a rabies vaccination no later than March but none, according to the paperwork was ever given. PA law states that dogs must have their rabies vaccination after 3 months of age.  We have only provided a copy of the 03/15/07 vet certificate because the 04/12/07 certificate, with the exception of the date and the vet’s signature, is otherwise blank. Click HERE

View the Pets Plus “Guarantee of Good Health” and note that the guarantee DOES NOT WARRANT THAT THE DOG HAS BEEN EXAMINED BY A VETERINARIAN…… that’s some guarantee, isn’t it?  Click HERE




Purchased from the Pets Plus Quakertown, PA store on August 17, 2006, this family had hoped the new addition of a dachshund puppy would bring joy and happiness to their already happy family….. little did they know they would never be able to have a “normal” relationship with their pup.  Why?  Because this young boy is DEAF. Secured from a puppy mill in Hull, Iowa, this pup passed multiple vet exams wherein no doctor ever noticed this little fellow had no ability to hear what was going on around him. Yanked from his mother at eight weeks of age, or less, and more than likely transported in the back of a tractor trailer or, worse, the hull of an airplane, this puppy had no idea what was happening to him and is fortunate to have ended up in a loving home.  But what of his brothers and sisters?  Are they deaf?  Does anyone even know where they are?  Will the mother or father who passed this genetic defect on to their pups be bred yet again? In this specific case Pets Plus “generously” coughed up a whopping $200.00 to compensate for the defect – a small amount considering the family paid $900.00 (plus $54.00 PA state tax) for their new companion who will need a lifetime of extra attention.

View the Veterinarian’s Evaluation of this Puppy:  Taken to the family vet when the family realized something wasn’t quite right with their new puppy, see what this qualified diagnostician found – Click HERE

View Where this Puppy Came From & Acceptance of Condition of Sale document: “WE CANNOT GUARANTEE THE PUPPIES WE SELL TO BE BREEDERS OR OF SHOW QUALITY” In fact, Pets Plus doesn’t guarantee much about any dog it sells; they DON’T KNOW the breeder and deal primarily with DOG BROKERS. Note the name of the breeder:  Helen Ketelsen of Hull, Iowa, in the lower left hand portion of the form – Click HERE

View the Pets Plus Intake Form:  More than likely completed when the puppies are delivered to the store, this form reflects absolutely no information about ANY dog yet this was provided to the customer.  Note the puppy to have NO hearing deficit at all – Click HERE

View the Pets Plus ‘What To Do’ Form:  Explaining some of the many, many problems pet shop puppies are known for, pay particular attention to paragraph four that explains if your puppy is very, very sick and you choose to do the right thing by your puppy to save his life, Pets Plus will only reimburse you up to the amount of purchase thereby assuming NO RESPONSIBILITY for the puppies they sell.  Instead, Pets Plus asks you to bring the puppy back to the store to allow one of THEIR vets to examine and treat any conditions.  Would this be the same vet who found this puppy’s hearing to be intact on the Intake Form above? – Click HERE


In 2001, according to The Morning Call newspaper, a puppy was purchased at the Quakertown Pets Plus and, shortly afterwards became ill. The treating veterinarian requested the owner to obtain the family history of the dog but when Pets Plus was contacted they refused to provide any information regarding the puppy’s history. Finally, after several telephone calls, Pets Plus provided the owner with the name of the mother, the father, the litter number and the birth date. Not long afterwards, when the actual ‘papers’ finally arrived, SURPRISE, all of the history was different than what the owner was originally told and he did not feel he could register the dog in good conscience without perpetuating a fraud. Ultimately, he ended up suing Pets Plus and the case aired on the televised Peoples Court program where Pets Plus was found guilty for not providing the dog’s papers within the state’s 120 day prescribed time frame. According to the final paperwork the dog’s owner received, the puppy was born and purchased by way of a broker working on behalf of the Conodoguinet Creek Kennel owned by Betty and Michael Kauffman. At the time, neither the puppy mill nor the broker were licensed to sell dogs to pet stores and the kennel had received violations after recently being inspected.

Purchased on July 24, 1996 from the Lawrenceville Pets Plus, an ACA Dachshund bred by Helen and Scott Ketelsen (the same breeders of the deaf Dachshund described above) of 3230 Ibex Avenue in Hull, IL (USDA #42-A-0736) was sold for $900.00.  The date of birth placed the puppy at exactly eight (8) weeks of age – clearly having been taken from its mother far too young – was diagnosed with Kennel Cough, Hookworms, Pneumonia and Anorexia.  Veterinary bills totaled in excess of $1,485.00.


On November 20, 2004, a cairn terrier (born on July 2, 2004) was purchased for $600.00 at the Pets Plus Delran location. The puppy became ill shortly thereafter, was taken to a veterinarian and diagnosed with Leptospirosis and Giardia.
Both of these illnesses are considered dangerous zoonotic diseases that are transmittable to humans. Additionally, the puppy had one undescended testicle that was thought to be genetic. Veterinary bills totaled $485.00.  Investigation revealed that the puppy was originally procured from the Hekapatch Kennel (USDA License #31-A-0103) located in Millersburg, Holmes County, Ohio and owned by commercial breeder Wayne Yoder.COMPLAINT AGAINST PETS PLUS

In 2006, according to RipOffReport.com a woman purchased an Italian Grey Hound from the Delran Pets Plus. Within two days the dog began coughing and exhibiting signs of Kennel Cough.  Pets Plus Delran attempted to treat the dog but the illness persisted.  Kennel Cough is spread among dogs and, no doubt, this pup was sick at the time of purchase and the new owner was never informed. After additional treatments by Pets Plus Delran, the woman took the dog to her private veterinarian and incurred substantial medical bills.  The owner in this case is contemplating a lawsuit against Pets Plus.
COMPLAINT AGAINST PETS PLUS In 2005 a male Bichon Frise/Poodle mixed breed puppy was purchased from the Planet Pets Plus in Conshohocken, PA on March 25. The puppy, supposedly born on January 17, 2005 and obtained from commercial breeder Samuel Fisher in Logantown, PA, began experiencing difficulty seeing at approximately 12 months. Now, at 2 years of age and with both eyes entirely clouded over, the dog has been diagnosed with congenital cataracts (a hereditary condition passed from the parents to the puppy) in both eyes leaving the owner with no choice but to seek invasive ophthalmologic surgery if she is to prevent her dog from going entirely blind.  At the time of purchase, the owner was advised that this dog’s sister was at another Pets Plus store and, after learning about the congenital defect, attempted to contact Pets Plus to (a) obtain additional information about the dog’s parents and (b) to inquire about other dogs from the same litter; her calls were never returned.


In June of 2005 a female beagle puppy was purchased from the PuppyTown/Pets Plus located at the Franklin Mills Mall. When purchased,  the puppy exhibited symptoms of an upper respiratory infection that eventually led to almost $1,000.00 in veterinary bills.  The family’s veterinarian also discovered that the puppy was never fully wormed and was infected with not one – but two – types of parasites: round and tape worms. Pursuant to the PA Puppy Lemon Law the buyer had the option to return the dog for a full refund – something no pet lover is EVER prepared to do – or accept a partial refund. Opting for the partial refund, this family was cheated yet again when PuppyTown/Pets Plus failed to fully refund the amount of money due the buyer.

If you have purchased a dog from Pets Plus that was ill, became ill, or died shortly after purchase, and would like to add your story to this litany of misery for profit proof, please click HERE.

Upon opening the Lansdale Pets Plus, the newest store in this chain of misery for profit, a journalist from The Reporter noted dogs tagged as being from Newburg, PA, home to four puppy mills. Mark Arabia states he only buys dogs from PA Dept. of Agriculture licensed breeders and the only ones to hold licenses in Newburg, Pennsylvania are:


Betty & Michael Kauffman’s
Conodoguinet Creek Kennel
31 Quigley Road
Newburg PA 17240
K5 = 251 or more Dogs
Emanuel Kauffman’s
Quigley Kennel
20 Quigley Road
Newburg PA 17240
K5 = 251 or more Dogs
Oak Bend Road KennelK3
34 Oak Bend Road
Newburg PA 17240
K3 = 101 to 150 Dogs
Joseph & Emma Yoder’s
Yoder’s Kennel
105 Enola Road
Newburg PA 17240
K5 = 251 or more Dogs

and every single one, make no mistake about it, is a puppy mill. Michael Kauffman is, in addition to a mass breeder, a dog broker and sells parcels of puppies on a regular basis to pet stores and/or other mills on a regular basis.



The Conodoguinet Creek Kennel has received several violations over the years when inspected.  On May 11, 2004 David Oelberg, DVM, USDA APHIS Veterinary Medical Officer (Inspector ID 1043)  cited the kennel for the following violations:

2.40 (b)

Each dealer shall establish and maintain programs of adequate veterinary care that include: The use of appropriate methods to prevent, control, diagnose, and treat diseases and injuries.

The written Program of Veterinary Care (PVC) was last signed 21 May 2002 and did not include complete information on the disease prevention and control methods. Distemper vaccine with expiration date of February 2004, and Rabies vaccine with expiration date April 2004 were present at the facility. The methods of disease control and prevention must be outlined by the veterinarian and followed to assure that animals do not become or remain sick. Use of expired biologics is not considered appropriate and could fail to prevent or cure disease.

2.75 (a) (1)

Each dealer shall make, keep, and maintain records or forms which fully and correctly disclose the following information concerning each dog purchased or otherwise acquired, owned, held, or otherwise in his or her possession or under his or her control, or which is transported, euthanized, sold, or otherwise disposed of by that dealer or exhibitor. The records shall include any offspring born of any animal while in his or her possession or under his or her control.

(i) The name and address of the person from whom a dog was purchased
(ii) The USDA license or registration number of the person if he or she is licensed or registered under the Act;
(iii) The vehicle license number and state, and the driver’s license number and state of the person, if he or she is not licensed or registered under the Act;
(iv) The name and address of the person to whom a dog was sold or given and that person’s license or registration number if he or she is licensed or registered under the Act;
(v) The date a dog was acquired or disposed of, including by euthanasia;
(vi) The official USDA tag number or tattoo assigned to a dog under Secs. 2.50 and 2.54;
(vii) A description of each dog which shall include:(A) The species and breed or type; (B) The sex; (C) The date of birth or approximate age; and (D) The color and any distinctive markings;
(viii) The method of transportation including the name of the initial carrier or intermediate handler or, if a privately owned vehicle is used to transport a dog or cat, the name of the owner of the privately owned vehicle;
(ix) The date and method of disposition of a dog or cat, e.g.,sale, death, euthanasia, or donation.

Twenty-one (21) animals were not recorded
on records with their microchip number as required (vi). Date of disposition and complete information were not recorded for many transactions (i) (ii) (iii) (iv). All of the required information must be recorded to assure accurate tracking of the animals.


On March 17, 2004, Yoder’s Kennel, located at 105 Enola Road in Newburg, PA, was inspected by David Oelberg, DVM, USDA, APHIS, Animal Care acting in his capacity of Veterinary Medical Officer (Inspector ID: 1043), and cited Yoder’s Kennel for violation of Section 3.6 (a)(2)(x) with regard to PRIMARY ENCLOSURES.

Primary enclosures must be constructed and maintained so that they: have floors that are constructed in a manner that protects the dogs’ and cats’ feet and legs from injury.

The outdoor raised kennel to the east had a wire floor with coating worn off in spots and a gap at the resting board that could cause injury to the dogs. A single large male mastiff had a sore and multiple calluses that would benefit from softer flooring.  Floors need to be maintained to prevent injury.


March, 2007 — USDA CLOSES APPLE CREEK KENNEL More than 83 dogs were removed from the care of Leonard Moos, owner of Apple Creek Kennel, sold his dogs by way of LAMBRIAR, a well known dog broker that sells puppies from the mills to pet stores across the nation.  Read the news article – click HERE


Pets Plus, Planet Pets Plus and PuppyTown claim their dogs are hand picked from private breederswe say show us.  Demonstrators at the Lansdale Pets Plus asked owner, Mark Arabia, for the names of the breeders, the locations of the kennels and a copy of his ‘forever return policy’ all of which he refused to provide. If these dogs really came from reputable breeders (a) they wouldn’t be hiding behind Mark Arabia/Pets Plus and (b) they’d never sell their dogs by way of a pet store.


Playful Pets – Licensed K5

115 West Ridge Pike

Conshohocken  PA  19428

The Pet Shop, Inc. – Licensed K5 – STORE CLOSED!

170 Montgomery Mall

North Wales  PA  19454

Tom’s Pet Outlet – Licensed K5

2609 Egypt Road

Norristown  PA  19403

Zimmer’s Pets 2 – Licensed K3
Zimmer’s Pets – STORE CLOSED!!
There were TWO Zimmer’s Pets Stores:
In 2008, one closed: Zimmer’s Pets
Zimmer’s Pets 2 Remains OPEN
1065 East Philadelphia Avenue
Gilbertsville  PA  19525





Tammy Grimes, founder of Dogs Deserve Better, was arrested September 11, 2006 for helping a dying chained dog named Doogie who could not stand in East Freedom, Pennsylvania. Below are the details of the case, with photo and video documentation.

Tammy’s statement: “I made a hard decision; I could not have lived with myself or looked myself in the eye if I were such a coward as to leave Doogie lying there dying on the ground for fear of what would happen to me. I see this case as a travesty against justice…the true perpetrators of a crime are the people who left Doogie to lie there dying for three days without doing right by him. I am very saddened that we live in a society where people have to be afraid to do the right thing, to help those in need, whether that need be human or animal. Arrests such as mine are a pitiful statement for America, and I ask all dog lovers to stand with me to insist that all charges against me are dropped and charges of animal cruelty are instead placed against the Arnolds of East Freedom, PA. The Arnolds who left Doogie to die. This video truly speaks for itself, and for Doogie. I did what was morally right; I stand by my decision to help him and will be proud of it until my dying day. No one can take that from me.”

Here is the background info:
We got a call from Kim Eicher in East Freedom 9/11/06, crying because Doogie hadn’t gotten up since Saturday. She had been calling the Central Pennsylvania Humane Society since Saturday to no avail. We told her we aren’t law officers, and she needed to call the Humane Officer. We told her to make sure she left a message, very clearly, about the problem. Then we got another call about the same dog, from another person who passes him every day. At that point we called Kim back to see if she’d heard from the Humane Officer. She had not, was very, very upset and we were very worried about him, so we promised her we’d go out and see what we could do.

When we arrived, we took photos and video of Doogie. We initially thought he was dead, as he was not moving and his back was to us. We found out that the people were not home to talk to about him, so I made the decision that I would not leave him lying there on the cold wet ground for one moment longer, and I would accept all consequences of my decision. Kim Eicher has aganother person who passes him every day. At that point we called Kim back to see if she’d heard from the Humane Officer. She had not,reed to testify as to the animal cruelty perpetrated against Doogie. She cried the whole time we were there, you can hear her on the video. I think once you see the video and pictures, you’ll understand why I made this decision.

The vet documented his general negligent condition, low weight, sores, missing fur, and took xrays of his back and hips. He determined that he has very bad back spurs that are causing him a lot of pain and are most likely responsible for his inability to walk. He also saw an undetermined mass near his hip on the xray. He gave him a shot for pain plus some B vitamins for energy, so that perhaps he could have even one good day or a few good hours. He wrote a letter stating his condition.

As we got to the vet, the CPHS Humane Officer Gotshall was just leaving, and he stopped us. He was about to go out to the residence. When he found out we had Doogie with us, he was not happy. I volunteered to take Doogie back and he could pick him up instead. He refused that, and stated that I should get him the vet care he needed, and to call him afterward on his cell. When I later called him, he did not answer, I left a message asking him what he wanted me to do with Doogie, he never called back.

Shortly after we got Doogie to my home, situated, bathed—had to, the stench was too bad—and fed and watered an Officer Flaig called from the Freedom Township Police Department (Freedom, isn’t that ironic?). He wanted me to return Doogie, which I refused to do. I explained that I had video and photos documenting the animal cruelty, and the neighbor was willing to testify; why didn’t he pursue that as they were the perpetrators of the crime, and should be charged? He refused, and was not interested in seeing my evidence.

He and three other police vehicles arrived at my home at approximately 9:30 p.m. As I refused to hand Doogie over to be returned to death on a chain, and would not tell them where he was, I was taken into custody, transported to the East Freedom police office, and charged with theft, receiving stolen property, criminal mischief, and criminal trespass. I was released on $50,000 unsecured bond and ordered to appear at a preliminary hearing September 21, 2006.

I was treated like a common criminal, especially by Chief Reilly, who called me a ‘freakin’ idiot’, ‘incompetent’, and I overheard him telling Officer Flaig that if I ever came near his dog I would have a slug in my a**. Again, there was no interest in any evidence that the dog had been abused or criminally neglected. As far as they were concerned, the dog’s safety or condition was not even an issue.
I was released after seeing Judge Aigner, where Chief Reilly asked that I be not given bail but incarcerated for my failure to cooperate. It was 2:00 a.m., and I had no ride home, over 30 miles away. I had to walk to a local all-night store to call and get a cab, because there was no concern over how I would get home. Their attempt to dehumanize me didn’t work. I held my head high and still do. I looked Chief Reilly square in the eye at every opportunity. I will not be broken.

Here’s what I need from you all. View the videos and photos. I think you’ll agree with me that this is NOT acceptable in ANY way in any kind of civilized society. We cannot allow this kind of animal abuse. Period. Not ifs, ands, or buts. Insist that all charges against Tammy Grimes are dropped and animal cruelty charges are instead filed against the Arnolds of East Freedom, Pennsylvania. Pass along the photos and the video, or a link to it, as much as you possibly can.
Doogie laying on the ground, neighbor crying in background:

Doogie after vet at Grimes house:

I could never look myself in the eye again, much less sleep at night, had I left Doogie there dying, shivering in the dirt.
Please, contact ALL media with these photos and videos. Get justice, for Doogie and for me. Do NOT allow this treatment of those who are here to help, and who actually care. Call the Central Pennsylvania Humane Society and tell them you expect them to stand with me against this kind of abuse, and that you expect them to return phone calls for dying dogs the same day.
Doogie laying on the ground, neighbor crying in background:

Doogie after vet at Grimes house:

Officer Flaig: Cell 814.201.0149 (Apparently cancelled cell phone)
Blair County District Attorney Richard Consiglio, Esq.: 814.693.3010
Freedom Township Police Headquarters: 814.695.8545
Central Pennsylvania Humane Society: 814.942.5402; cphs@altoonarail.net
Humane Officer Paul Gotshall: 814.942.3780
Altoona Mirror: 800.287.4480; pbanko@altoonamirror.com;
WTAJ-TV10: 814.944.1414
WJAC-TV 6: 814.255.7600
All national media! Make sure to send them links to the video, it’s very compelling. Don’t stop until there is Justice for Doogie and me! Any help with legal fees to get a competent attorney would be much appreciated.
Tammy S. Grimes

The Backyard Hell
As I lay dying in a pool of dirt and mud
I felt a hand touch my matted fur
My old eyes looked up and saw
An angel with sad eyes staring down at me
The hands stroked my fur and the unfamiliar
touch puzzled, yet comforted me
Can it be that I have already died,
Released from the never-ending agony
of chains, neglect, bones grating cold ground?
Yes, my rescuer has picked me up from this backyard hell
And bathed my skinny, dirty, bony body
Released me from the heavy chains and the fleas
whose bites I long ago became accustomed to
I have little time left
But in a dog’s world, a hint of kindness,
a soft touch, a kind word and a warm blanket
overshadow the years of suffering when no one cared
Can you see the love and gratitude in my eyes?
As I lay dying, I looked up
and saw kind eyes looking back at me
An angel rescued me from backyard hell
And paved my way to eternity.

For Tammy
Who gives me the strength and courage to rise above my own fears and limitations—Patti Ragsdale
Thank God for angels like Tammy Grimes.

That the Arnolds planned on euthanizing their dog is NO EXCUSE for him lying on the ground for THREE days without intervention. Clearly they were unconcerned about the relentless pain their poor dog was enduring. That the Humane Society also did not intervene for that 3 day period, in spite of calls to their office and regardless of some other “high priority” case to which they were attending, should be an equal embarrassment to the citizens in your town and county.

Thanks to Tammy Grimes’ courage and the credibility she enjoys nationwide and even internationally among influential animal advocates, the breadth of this entire debacle will not go quietly away. The world is watching to see how your community handles this. We are hoping that it will be with compassion for the animal so that he is not returned to the hell in which he was living, empathy for the neighbor who called Tammy in earnest to help when the humane society failed, and exoneration for Tammy who did what any civilized human being would under the circumstances.

You should be thankful for a powerful voice for the animals such as Tammy Grimes in your midst, prosecute the Arnolds for the abuse that is inarguably evident in the photos and videos, and encourage animal service providers in your area to embrace Tammy as a trainer such that in the future they would be better prepared to intervene!

Debra Griggs

*At the End of the Line*
At the end of the line,
It’s a lonely place,
Why even have me if this is the case?
At the end of the line,
There can be no joy
A pile of rocks for my only toy.
At the end of the line,
No pat on the head
A bowl full of food, if I’m lucky, instead.
At the end of the line,
No people to greet,
Although I’d be friendly to all that I’d meet.
At the end of the line,
A cold hard wet floor,
If I were inside, I could guard your door.
At the end of the line,
I just wonder why,
Is this really the way that you chose me to die?
~Lisa Stocks 9/13/2006

I’ve worked on at least 20 people with knee problems ranging from people waiting for a knee replacement to dancers, soccer players and people with general knee problems. Once the Kinesio  tape was put on the injured area and the client got up off my table they were out of pain and felt more stable. I’m quite shocked that doctors are unaware of Kinesio taping and in fact look at it as a sugar pill. How wrong they are! I challenge them in every way and I’m hoping that this blog will simplify how this miracle tape works.

First I’d like to explain the tape itself. Kinesio taping is light weight with adhesive backing. The tape has the ability to stretch when held by either end of the tape to then be applied on the injured area being working on. The tension on the tape varies on the injury at hand.  I worked on a dancer who had problems as most dancers to with her knees. She did receive physical therapy to strengthen quadriceps and the muscles that stabilize the knee. This does not mean the issue is not still there. Playing sports requires repetitive motion on certain areas of the body which are used over and over. When the athlete’s muscles, ligaments and tendons are over used this causes weakness that can result in a serious injury if not caught in time.  I find that Kinesio Taping enables the athlete/dancer or client that’s job requires repetitive motion such as, typing to continue free of pain.  I see again and again people without any knowledge of deep tissue massage and it’s benifits and Kinesio taping  people resort to unnecessary surgery or using harmful steroids.

It is important to make sure they are certified and using Kinesio books at their guides when needed. I know that I would rather have a person that is humble enough to make sure they are applying the tape properly than an arrogant physical therapist that put tape on completely wrong as he worked on 5 clients at the same time. Physical therapy was not a good experience for my neck injury or myself, the lack of one on one care was horrible and was a waste of my money and from my health insurance, what was charged for moist heat pad was crazy.  After my surgery I went to a total of seven physical therapy groups only one impressed me,  The Neurac Institute,  800 Bunn Dr Princeton, NJ  609-683-1010 A+.

A lot of people do not know any Certified Kinesio taping practitioners or have even heard of it. I am Certified and make sure the person is Certified and if you are in discomfort after being taped you will know pretty quickly and then re-apply the tape.  I make sure once they have the tape on that I check in with them on how they feel. I am located right in Princeton Township, NJ @ 609-683-1608

Kinesio Tape can stay on the body for 3 to 5 days. Showering will not weaken the tape and can be patted dry after the showers completed. I worked with a dancer recently and she would benefit a great deal  having her knees taped every time she dances. Taping will not weaken the area it will prevent injury and you almost feel as if you’re wearing nothing yet you can feel the support. The results I get are amazing. How long does it take to have the tape applied? Depending on the issue it can take one half an hour.

I’d like to list some of the injuries that Kinesio Taping is used for, carpal tunnel syndrome, spinal disc herniation, frozen shoulder, shoulder injuries, low back pain, hamstring and quadriceps injuries, stabilizing the ankle, shin splints, plantar fasciitis and much more. I am hoping to get the word out on how amazing this tape is. It brings me great joy to see a client is in pain completely void of pain by just applying tape to their body, truly amazing. Please feel free to call Gotcher’ Back Therapeutic Massage for a phone consult 609-683-1608. There is no need to get cortisone shots or use steroids for pain when Kinesio taping can in most circumstances heal and correct the issue.

I would like to tell all of the parents out there that your teens and college students perform better in sports due to practicing prevention instead of having to have surgery due to coaches not training them properly. The importance of addressing the issue right away by giving me a call can save a lot of pain and your child being immobile. The unfortunate thing is most people call me as a last resort and I can correct the problem before it goes to extreme spending weeks of time in physical therapy, getting cortisone shots and the issue/injury still exists and you have spent hours back and forth to doctors, PT’s and wasting money and your time. I’m trying to reach out to parents to help prevent this. I’m also reaching out to parents who have aging parents with severe knee issues that can’t have a knee replacement or bad back pain. When the knees are taped,  prevention from falling increases ten fold and their pain is gone too. Please call my office for a free consult and any more information you need about Kinesio Taping and its benefits. Instead of making me your last resort make me your priority, so you can get on with your life pain-free. Again I am located in Princeton, NJ and my contact number is 609-683-1608.

A List of Alkaline Foods: Alkaline & acid food chart to help you increase the amount of also see: alkaline and acid food ph | alkaline diet resources.
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  • 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.


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