benefits

Book Review – In Focus Meditation: Your Personal Guide by Jacqueline Towers

October, 2018

In Focus: Meditation

Your Personal Guide

 

by Jacqueline Towers

© Zambezi Publishing Ltd.

imprint of Quarto Group

page count 144

One of the first things Ms. Towers says about meditations is “meditations aren’t something you need to work because they just start” I like the way this book is laid out, Ms. Towers has done an excellent job of presenting this material.

In the first chapter, entitled “About Meditation,” Ms. Towers lists 12 benefits of meditation and eight different techniques. Of the eight different methods of meditation, not all of them require you to quiet your mind. (Which is a good thing, because I never have a quiet mind.) In chapter 3 on equipment and products for meditation, the author lists a few meditation cushions or zafus that you can use. In chapter 3, she also includes a list of incense or essences, and these she has broken down into wood or mineral, fruit or plant.

Chapters 4 through 15 are about the different types of meditations. Ms. Towers has them broken down, in such a way that if you are looking for a meditation on chakras, or knowledge, or angelic, or emotional, they are easy to find. One of the meditations in chapter 7 that I found interesting was the Flower of Life. I have several flowers of life around my desk where I work, and where I do most of my reading, so it was easy for me to envision this image while meditating.

In chapter 12, Ms. Towers starts talking about psychic techniques, and how meditation can help you heighten them. The author also talks about how psychics use meditation before doing readings. Chapter 13, Ms. Towers writes about using a meditation to do a past life regression. While reading this meditation, I went into the meditation and was able to explore part of a past life that comes to me during a dream. So, I can say without a doubt, this meditation works.

In chapter 14 Ms. Towers covers mindfulness meditation. The author includes information about mindfulness, yoga, and even doing a meditation upon the five principles of Reiki. Within the five principles of Reiki meditation, the author breaks it down even further into helping you meditate on why you may have an issue with one of the five principles.

In the last chapter, chapter 15, Ms. Towers has a meditation with candles. In this meditation. She explains how the flames may behave during your meditation and what that can mean for you. She also covers Christian contemplation, Buddhist meditation, cosmic ordering, and astral travel. In Focus Your Guide to Meditation is a well-written book, and it’s laid out intuitively. I’m glad I can add it to my library, I hope you will be too.

In Focus Meditation

***

About the Author:

Dawn Borries loves reading and was thrilled to become a Reviewer for PaganPages.Org. Dawn, also, has been doing Tarot and Numerology readings for the past 25 years. Dawn does readings on her Facebook page.  If you are interested in a reading you can reach her at: Readings by Dawn on Facebook at

https://www.facebook.com/Readings-by-Dawn-1608860142735781/

Book Review – Sacred Herbs: Your Guide to 40 Medicinal Herbs and How to Use Them for Healing and Well-Being by Opal Streisand

May, 2018

Book Review

Sacred Herbs: Your Guide to 40 Medicinal Herbs and How to Use Them for Healing and Well-Being”

by Opal Streisand

Publisher: Sterling Ethos

Published: Hardcover, February 2018

Pages: 128

This book has beautiful, large, color photos of 40 medicinal plants. That is the best thing about “Sacred Herbs: Your Guide to 40 Medicinal Herbs and How to Use Them for Healing and Well-Being.” It makes for a wonderful identification and reference for those in the earlier stages of learning about herbs.

For each, Opal Streisand gives the Latin name, an interesting note, the parts of the plant used, and information about the herb and its benefits, along with cautions if applicable. Sometimes that long paragraph includes history. Sometimes herbs get a four-page spread with more detailed information and a second photo.

Nowhere did I learn Opal Streisand’s credentials, so it would seem she is an author researching and writing about herbs, and not a herbalist sharing learning and personal experience. Someone going deeper into the subject will want an additional book by an herbalist.

This book can serve as the gateway, introducing the reader to some of the most commonly used herbs and instilling an appreciation of their many uses. Ancient healers knew the curative powers of the plants around them. That information has been passed down through generations in many cultures and traditions. Herbs are nature’s medicine, and that medicine is just as effective today as it was 200 years ago.

This book will acquaint you to herbs that soothe and heal. You’ll learn that a decoction of burdock was a folk remedy for colds and valerian is a sleep aid that should not be taken with other sedatives or antidepressants.

It’s worth repeating: the photographs are beautiful. They will help to identify plants by their flowers and, in some cases, their foliage.

Click Image for Amazon Information

***

About the Author:

Lynn Woike was 50 – divorced and living on her own for the first time – before she consciously began practicing as a self taught solitary witch. She draws on an eclectic mix of old ways she has studied – from her Sicilian and Germanic heritage to Zen and astrology, the fae, Buddhism, Celtic, the Kabbalah, Norse and Native American – pulling from each as she is guided. She practices yoga, reads Tarot and uses Reiki. From the time she was little, she has loved stories, making her job as the editor of two monthly newspapers seem less than the work it is because of the stories she gets to tell. She lives with her large white cat, Pyewacket, in central Connecticut. You can follow her boards on Pinterest, and write to her at woikelynn at gmail dot com.

 

 

Connecting with Nature

July, 2013

Nature’s Benefits

We know we feel good when in nature but what other health benefits are there to being outdoors? Studies have found that our stress, blood pressure and resting heart rate are all significantly lower during a 15 minute nature walk than during a 15 minute city walk. The average American spends at least eight hours a day looking at an electronic screen and when we get home stressed and frazzled, we often try to unwind in front of the TV. Research has shown that this only makes us more moody. Since we spend so much time in a technology-driven society, we become more aggressive, distracted, depressed and overweight.

 

David Suzuki, an award-winning scientist, environmentalist and broadcaster, recently issued a challenge for people to get outside in nature for 30 minutes a day for 30 days. Preliminary results showed that people slept better, felt calmer and were less stressed.

 

 

Here are some other benefits to spending time in nature:

  • Boosts your mood and experience more positive emotions;
  • Increase in white blood cell activity;
  • Improves cognition;
  • Relieves anxiety and depression;
  • Boosts empathy;
  • Decrease in blood pressure and heart rate;
  • Increases creativity;
  • Improved memory and attention span;
  • Higher self-esteem;
  • Social bonding with like-minded people.

 

 

We have an attraction and connection with nature. Yoshifumi Miyazaki, a physiological anthropologist and vice director of Chiba University’s Center for Environment, Health, and Field Sciences, located just outside Tokyo, believes that because humans evolved in nature, it’s where we feel most comfortable. Some believe that humans are biophilia which suggests that there is an instinctive bond between human beings and other living systems. That we subconsciously seek a connection with the rest of life. For many of us, adding elements of nature to our living spaces can provide similar benefits for those times we can’t make it outside. Try adding some plants, an aquarium or a picture of a landscape you admire. Whether you head outdoors for an adventure or lose yourself to quiet observation near a stream, time in nature can provide some amazing health benefits.

 

“The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and to be greater than our suffering.” ~Ben Okri

 

 

References:

http://www.outsideonline.com/fitness/wellness/Take-Two-Hours-of-Pine-Forest-and-Call-Me-in-the-Morning.html?page=all

http://www.oprah.com/health/Health-Benefits-of-Nature-Spending-Time-Outside/1

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biophilia_hypothesis

http://30×30.davidsuzuki.org/

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-rich-and-measurable-benefits-to-spending-more-time-in-nature/