Sunday, August 14, 2016

A Comparison Between Chinese Taoism and Native American Religious Tradition

This blog is about "Self" Healing... "Self"is defined in so many infinite ways that this article seemed appropriate for this blog.  
Here is a presentation of  "self" and self's place in the world, cosmos, universe from both Native American and Taoist perspectives...

An except from the forthcoming book by Gary R. Varner, "Ancient Footprints."
There are many similarities between Chinese and Native
American spiritual belief and philosophy. While there is no
conclusive evidence available that can tie the two together we
can at least explore the possibility. It is important to understand
that there is not one “Indian” philosophy or belief. But many
tribes had similar traditions expressed in different ways. In this
comparison I will employ a simplification of these beliefs.
Taoism, the Chinese philosophy of perfect peace and the
man-nature harmony, is very similar to various Native American
traditions. Did a transfer of ideas result from early cross cultural
contact or did these traditions and beliefs originate

The concept of humankind co-existing with Nature and
thereby with the divine is an age old one and one shared
universally among indigenous peoples. But this concept was
never illustrated so simply and graphically until the Taoist and
Native American philosophy came into being.
Both philosophies have the same message: the binding unity
of humankind with the Earth.

Man is only able to survive with the Earth’s cooperation. The
Earth provides humankind with food, shelter and a meaningful
education about life. But the Earth must be cared for as well. It
is a give and take relationship.

To many, at first glance, Taoism seems contradictory. It is a
philosophy of opposites that Western man has difficulty in
grasping. However, it is only ambiguous in its simplicity.
The Tao states:

“That which shrinks
Must first expand.
That which fails
Must first be strong.
That which is cast down
Must first be raised.
Before receiving
There must be giving.
Ancient Footprints

“This is called perception of the nature of things. Soft and
weak overcome hard and strong.”

Hyemeyohst Storm, a modern Plains Indian, wrote of

“All the things of the universe wheel have spirit and life,
including the rivers, rooks, earth, sky, plants and animals. But it
is only man, of all the Beings of the Wheel, who is a determiner,
our determining spirit can be made whole only through the
learning of our harmony with all our brothers and sisters, and
with all the other spirits of the Universe. To do this we must
learn to seek and perceive. We must do this to find our place
within the medicine wheel.”

The concept of universality is a central theme in Taoist and
Native American thought. The Ying Yang principle of opposites
making up the whole is really just a cause and effect
relationship. Ying Yang is only a way of saying transformation.
The Chinese have a saying of “Ten thousand things—there is an
infinity of all created things. Dark to light, hate to love, rain to
give food.”

Ying Yang is comparable to the Indian “Cosmos” thought. All
things are because of the existence of other things. Cosmos is
all. Cosmos is God, time, and nature. The seasons and life cycles
are very much a part of the cosmos. The birth, death and rebirth
symbolized in cosmos is almost an exact re-phrasing of Ying

Circular symbols are also important to both traditions. The
Sioux saying “The year is a circle around the earth” and the
Plains concept of “Universal Wheel” are similar to the Chinese
Ying Yang.

Similar are the ideas concerning the creator and heaven. In
Tao God is a universal, ruling power, a power personified only
through the wind and the mountains and in nature itself. A
similar concept among Native Americans.

Ceremony is also very important. In Tao the only way o the
Universal Good, called Li, is through ritual and ceremony. If the
ceremony is done with sincerity then everything goes as it
should. Among Native Americans ritual and ceremony is also
very important. Everything with consequence was accomplished
through ceremony such as puberty, naming children, birth, death
and curing. In both Native American and Taoism ceremony was
done for the honor of an individual or group or, more
importantly, to honor and placate the spirits.

To carry this concept further we realize in Tao that ceremony
is what separates humankind from animal kind. Ceremony is the
total essence of humanity. One must master it, and thereby Li,
to become totally human. The lack of ceremony equates one to a
subhuman level. Ceremony is a show of faith to both traditions.
Natural harmony is also a connection between Taoism and
Native Americans. Harmony with nature is to exist to the fullest.
The Indian could only survive by cooperating with the Mother

Harmony to Taoists is given the following description:
1. Heart is with learning
2. Feet planted firmly on the ground (symbolizing stability)
3. No longer suffering from perplexity (symbolizing serenity)
4. Know the bidding of heaven (symbolizing renewed
5. Hear with a docile ear, and
6. Follow the dictates of the heart.

Through all of these, Tao asserts, the individual has achieved
harmony with rightness. The Indian would put it more simply: to
see, to understand natures interaction with man and to give back
to the Mother Earth what one has taken from it. Harmony is
simply a loving respect for all things.

In respect to the Divine there is a slight difference between
Taoist and Native American thought. In Tao “gods,” per se, do
not exist. Tao, the “thought,” is itself the creating force and the
universe exists because of the associated Ying Yang actionreaction
principle. Man is part of that creation, and the Tao
assets, there is no “god” but for a universal consciousness. In
contrast, most Native American traditions have conceived of a
Creator. The following Pima poem illustrated this general godhead

“I have made the Sun!
I have made the Sun!
Hurling it high
In the four directions
To the East I threw it
To run its appointed course”

The Aztec verse:

“The flowering tree stands in Tamoanchan:
There we were created, there he gave us being
There we wove the strands of our life,
He who gives life to everything”

To Native American’s the concept of “God” is a spirit that may
be found in any form, a spirit that resides everywhere. The Spirit
is, in this beautiful concept, everything from a rock to a soaring
eagle. In the Native American world all things have a direct
linkage to the “Spirit.” The eagle, for example, was a great omen
and deservedly so with its power and beauty.

Tradition itself is held in esteem by both Taoists and Native
Americans. Tradition is the order of things. It is an established ,
working way. In Tao, order is a longing for innocence which is
continually being sought. It allows no excess which would disrupt
its order.

Tradition is similar to harmony. The Tao would say “Knowing
harmony is constancy. Knowing constancy is enlightenment.” 41
To the Native American tradition is life. There is no greater
teacher than the ways and laws handed down from generation to
generation. The Indian has found that to break or lose traditional
ways and skills is to lose their unity, their livelihood and their
honor among each other.

Tradition follows harmony and the Taoist Li results from both.
They are one together with knowledge. The Tao states:
“The world is ruled by letting things take their course. It
cannot be ruled by interfering.”

This is truly a Native American concept as well. Cooperation
is an instinctive feature of Native American life.
Alfonso Ortiz, a doctorate in anthropology, stated before a
Native American symposium on “American Indian Philosophy”,
his observations on the Indian belief of non-interference with the

“…I have never ceased to be impressed by…how difficult it is
to find a [Navajo] Hogan, how they are set off nicely in a little
pocket and blend right in with the landscape. Again, the
magnificent knowledge…”

Lao Tzu, a contemporary of Confucius and keeper of the
imperial Chinese archives in the sixth century, had a very simple
way of telling man that “progress” was destructive to order and
harmony. In the Tao, Lao Tzu said: “the further one goes, the
less one knows. Turning back is how the way moves.”

Taoism can be classified as “the way of the Universe…the
ordering principle behind all life.” To this the Native American
concept of cosmos is again comparable. To the Native American
the workings of the universe, nature, and humankind were all in
order and nothing could be justified that would upset this
delicate balance.

To most Native American’s every individual is his own
conscience and does what he/she believes is best. Individual
age was unimportant as everyone was believed capable of
rational thought. Parents never refused a reasonable request of
their children. Children were separate and equal to their parents
and other adults as long as they could demonstrate sound
reasoning. The Taoist saying “Who knows what is good or bad?”
applies here. No one can determine for another if their actions
are right or wrong as that determination belongs to the

The dominating theme of Native American religions is “at
oneness.” To know yourself, to know the Earth and the Earth’s
life-forms, to know that the cosmos was created for all life
equally. This is true in Taoism as well.

The philosophy of Taoism has been defined as the
“acceptance (of) what is in front of you without wanting the
situation to be other than it is. Study the natural order of things
and work with it rather than against it, for to try to change what
is only sets up resistence. Nature provides everything without
requiring payment or thanks, and also provides all without
discrimination—therefore let us present the same face to
everyone…we will come to appreciate the original meaning of the
word ‘understand’, which means to ‘stand under’. Te—which may
be translated as ‘virtue’ or ‘strength’—lies always in Tao—or
‘natural law.’”

To most traditional Native Americans the usage of spoken
language is a serious thing. Each word spoken reduces the power
in the speaker because words hold great power in themselves
and are taken as literal truths.

Throughout the Tao Te-Ching we find evidence of similar

“He who boasts achieves nothing.
He who brags will not endure.”
“A good speaker makes no slips.”
“In speech, be true .”
“More words count less.”
“Great eloquence seems awkward. Stillness and tranquility
set things in order.”

To know the importance of the simple things we take for
granted is an important concept in both Taoist and Native
American thought. To live and abuse nature or man was rarely
heard of in Native American society. In effect, the Native
American is perhaps a more perfect practitioner of
Taoism than most Chinese.

The similarity of Native American and Taoist thought can be
illustrated in the following quotes:

“Interference has gradually caused Nature to turn her face.
When the sun rises and sets blood red, the people know that
Nature is out of balance.” (Hopi)

“The world is ruled by letting things take their course, it
cannot be ruled by interfering.” (Tao Te Ching)

“Through our ceremonies, it is possible to keep the natural
forces together.” (Hopi)

“Ceremony is all that is human. It is harmony with nature.”
(Tao Te-Ching)

Friday, November 27, 2015

The Handbook for Happiness

The Handbook for Happiness --
52 Simple Steps to the
Happiest Life Possible

By Leo Babauta, author of Zen Habits: Handbook For Life*

This is something I’ve been wanting to write for some time — a Handbook for Life.

Now, is there any handbook that can be a guide to every single person? Of course not. This is just a list of tips that I think will help many people in life — some of them common-sense tips that we often forget about. Consider this guide a reminder.

How to use this handbook
This handbook is not meant to be a step-by-step guide, nor should you adopt all the tips below. Certainly not all at once. That would be overwhelming. Here are a couple tips for adopting the tips:
  • Pick and choose the tips that will be most useful to you. There are 52 tips here — not every single one will be useful to every person. I hope you’ll find 10 that are useful, or that are reminders of something you’ve been wanting to do.

  • Don’t do them all at once. Choose one tip to do first, and then do them one at a time. Focus on one first, and then the next. It’s too hard to try to adopt a bunch of changes at once.

  • Experiment. Try out a tip, and if it doesn’t work, try another. Life is an experiment, after all.

  • None are guaranteed. But many are very likely to bring happiness.

  • Also, these are not in any order. Some of the most important are buried below.

52 Tips for Happiness and Productivity
Try rising early.
It’s not for everyone, I’ll admit. It may not be for you. But I’ve found it to be an amazing change in my life. It has made the start of my days much more positive, and I now have time for writing, exercise, and silent contemplation.

Do less.
This is both a happiness and productivity tip. Doing less will make you happier, because your life won’t be so hectic and filled with stress. You will have time for things that give you pleasure, for the loved ones in your life, for life itself. It’s also a productivity tip: if you focus on the essential tasks, the big ones, the ones that will give you the most return for your time, and eliminate the rest, you will actually be more productive. You’ll get fewer tasks done, but you will be more effective.

Slow down.
Many new readers to this site have read my productivity articles and think that I’m all about being hyper-productive. I’m not. Long-time readers know that I am about a simpler way of life. Unfortunately, in my free-lance blogging, other websites usually ask me to write about productivity, so the preponderance of my productivity writing has given the impression, I think, that I think people should be churning out work at an amazing rate, to the exclusion of all else. Actually, I feel that life is much more enjoyable if you slow down. By doing less, you can actually get more done, even if you work more slowly. And when you’re not working, you should definitely try switching to slow mode. Drive slower (it is so much more relaxing), walk slower, eat slower.

Practice patience.
I’ve talked about how I’m trying to develop patience in my parenting article, How to Become a Patient Parent <> , but these tips really apply to everyone. If you easily lose your temper, you can become more patient with these tips. Once you’ve developed this skill (and it’s a skill, like everything else, not an unchangeable inborn trait), your life will become much saner and you will be much happier.

Practice compassion.
This may be the most important tip of all, in my opinion. If you were to choose any of these, I would choose this one. The first part of compassion is empathy — and this ability to understand how others feel can be developed through practice. Start by imagining the suffering of a loved one. Understand their pain, the emotions they go through, and why they would react the way they would. By doing this exercise a number of times, you are developing a skill that can be applied to others — for every person you see, try to understand what they are going through. Try to learn and understand more about their background, and why they react the way they do. Once you’ve developed this invaluable skill, learn the other half of compassion — acting on your understanding, and helping others, alleviating their suffering, acting with kindness. This one thing can bring true happiness to your life, and the lives of those around you.

Find your passion.
Another indispensable tip. This might be the second on my list of priorities. Find something you love to do, and your life will become immensely improved. You will love your work, the thing that you spend 40 hours (or more) a week doing. You will become more productive, procrastinate less, be less stressed. You will produce something you are proud of, and happy about. Read this article for some practical tips.

Lose weight.

This only applies, of course, if you are overweight. But losing your extra fat (and when I say lose weight, I mean lose fat), decreases your health risks (obviously), makes you look better, and in general is very likely to increase your happiness about yourself. I actually recommend that you learn to be comfortable and happy with how you look now, and not feel negative about yourself even if you are overweight. However, I’ve found that losing weight (at least for me) is a great way to feel better about your body. Do not make this an unhealthy obsession, however — lose weight gradually, and enjoy the process. See the next two tips for the best methods for doing this.

Make this a daily habit. Exercise not only helps you lose weight, but for me, it’s made me feel so much better. I actually enjoy exercise now. It’s a time of contemplation for me, and I feel so much better about myself afterwards.

Eat healthy.
I don’t recommend dieting. It’s too restrictive and you usually fall off it at some point. I do recommend changes to your diet, however — ones you make gradually, and that can be sustained for life. It not only helps lose weight, but really, once you start eating healthier, it is actually much more enjoyable.

OK, you might be like me — not into New-Age stuff. But meditation can actually be a very simple method for relaxing, for bringing calm, for returning yourself to sanity, for contemplation. [Here's your free mantra...] <>

Get organized.
This one’s not necessary. You could go through life wonderfully messy, searching for stuff, enjoying the search. But I’ve tried disorganized, and I’ve tried organized. The second is much more enjoyable to me.

Think positive.
Another one of the most important tips on this list, thinking positive — as cliche as it might sound — is one of the single best changes you can make in your life that will lead to so many more positive tips. Learning to think positive was the skill that turned my life around. It makes everything else on this list possible.

Simplify your finances.
Cut down on the number of accounts you have, cut down on your credit cards, spend less, reduce your bills. Make your finances automagical. Simplifying your finances greatly reduces your stress.

Simplify your life.
Another of my top tips. I’ve greatly simplified my life, in many ways, and I can say that having less stuff in my life, and less to do, has greatly increased my enjoyment of life. De-clutter, simplify your commitments, simplify your work space, simplify your wardrobe, simplify your rooms.

Accept what you have.
The problem with many of us is that we always think that we’ll be happy when we reach a certain destination — when we get a certain job, or retire, or get our dream house. Unfortunately, it takes awhile before you get there, and when you get there, you might have a new destination in mind. Instead, try being happy with where you are, with who you are, and what you have. To do that, instead of comparing what you have with other people, or with what you want, compare yourself those who have less, with those who are going through tragedy, with those who are struggling. You will see that you actually are extremely blessed. And this can lead to more happiness with your current situation.

Envision your ultimate life.
What would your ultimate life be like? Where would you live, what would you do, what would you do with your days? Come up with a clear picture of this, and write it down. Now, one step at a time, make it come true. Some ways of doing that follow.

Set long-term goals.
Your vision of your ultimate life will help you come up with long-term goals. Of those goals, pick one to accomplish within the next year, and really focus on that. Now, pick one medium-term goal to achieve in the next few months that will get you further toward your longer-term goal. Now decide what you can do this week, and today, to get you to your medium-term goal. Just choose one thing at a time, focus on it, make it happen, and then choose the next thing to focus on.

Review goals.
Setting goals is important, but the key to making them a reality is actually reviewing them (at least monthly, but weekly is better) and taking action steps to make them come true. Again, focus on one at a time, and really focus on them.

Life mission.
Related to envisioning your ultimate life, but different — it’s important that you think about how you would like to be remembered when you die — so you can start living the life that leads to that now. Live with purpose in life, and wake up every day with that purpose in mind.

Plan your big tasks for week and day.
Give purpose to your day by determining the three most important things you can do with your day, and making those a priority. Do the same thing with your week to increase your productivity: pick out the big tasks you’d like to accomplish this week, and schedule those first.

Maintain focus.
One important key to achieving your goals is to maintain focus on them. To do this, again, it’s important that you select one goal at a time. This will prevent your focus from spreading too thin. It’s also important that you give yourself constant reminders of your goal, so you don’t lose that focus. Put up a poster of your current goal, or print it out and put it out somewhere visible, and send yourself emailed reminders. However you do it, find a way to maintain a laser-sharp focus, and the goal will come true.

Enjoy the journey.
Goals are important, but not at the expense of happiness now. It’s important to maintain a balance between going where you want to go, and being happy as you go there. It’s easy to forget that, so be sure to remind yourself of this little, but important, tip as you make your journey.

Create a morning and evening routine.
These are two great ways to add structure to your day, make sure you review your goals and log your progress, and get your day off to a great start. An evening routine, for example, could be a great way not only to wind down from a long day and review how your day went, but to prepare yourself for your next day so the morning isn’t so hectic. Your morning routine is great way to greet the day, to get some exercise or meditation or quiet contemplation, or to get some writing or other work done.

Develop intimate relationships.

It’s great to have a special someone, of course, but intimate relationships could be found with anyone around you. If you have a significant other, be sure to spend time each day and each week with that person, to work on your relationship and communicate and continue to bond. But if you don’t, there’s no need to despair (if in fact you are) … intimate relationships can be developed with friends, other family members, kids, roommates, classmate, co-workers. Every single person we meet is a fellow human being, with the same desires for happiness, for food and shelter, for an intimate connection. Find that common thread, be open and sincere, find out more about each other, understand each other, and give love. This can be one of the most important things you do.

Eliminate debt.
Financially, this is a huge way to relieve stress and make you feel much more secure. I suggest that you get rid of your credit cards (if you have a problem with credit card debt or impulse spending) and create a snowball plan for yourself. It may take a couple of years, but you can get out of debt.

Enjoy the simple pleasures.
You can find these everywhere. Food (I love berries!), sunsets, sand between your toes, fresh-cut grass, playing with your child, a good book and a warm bed, dancing in the rain, your favorite music. You could probably make a list of 20 simple pleasures right now, things you enjoy that you could find every day. Sprinkle those little pleasures throughout your day. It makes the journey much more enjoyable.

Empty your inbox and clear your desk.
This might take a little while to do at first, but once you’ve emptied your inbox and cleared off your desk, it doesn’t take long to keep them clear from then on. It’s a simple habit that’s vastly rewarding. I get an inordinate amount of pleasure from having a clean desk. I recommend you give it a try.

Build an emergency fund.
This is standard-issue financial advice, I know … and yet it is extremely important. I cannot stress how important it is to have at least a tiny emergency fund in the bank. You often hear that you should have six months saved up. Don’t be intimidated by that. Start out with just a hundred dollars if you can. Cut back on a few things. Then build it up, every payday. Once you have, let’s say, $1,000, it will make a huge difference in your life. It’s not much, and you should still add to it every paycheck, but at least now you’re not living paycheck-to-paycheck, and if an unexpected emergency comes up you can pay for it, rather than not paying other bills and falling behind. It’s a simple step, but it will mean a lot.

Keep a journal.
This is not one of the more important tips, but I can attest that it’s rewarding. I, for one, have a bad long-term memory, and by writing things down, I can look back and remember what happened a month ago. I just started this a couple months ago, actually, but it’s been awesome. I started an online journal, something I call the one-sentence journal, and my goal is to just write one sentence a day. Sometimes I write two or three, but the idea is the same — just get one or two things down that happened that day, so I can always look back on it later.

Use the power of others.
Achieving your goals can be difficult, but using the power of others makes it much more likely to happen. For example, put positive public pressure on yourself by announcing your goal on your blog. Or join an online forum, or a group in your neighborhood, that you can count on for support. I have a mailing list for the May Challenge on Zen Habits, for example, and our group has helped me stick to my goal of daily exercise even when I started to falter — and the rest of the group can tell you they’ve experienced similar success because of the positive power of the group.

Read, and read to your kids.
I read all the time — it’s one of my favorite things to do in the world. I love to curl up with a good novel (or even a trashy one) and I can waste away an afternoon with a book. And I’m passing on my love of reading to my kids, by reading to them every day. I love spending time with them this way, and we all enjoy the stories we share together through books.

Limit your information intake.
In our lives today, we get a tremendous amount of information through email, blog feeds, reading websites, paperwork, memos, newspapers, magazines, television, DVDs, radio, mobile phones and Blackberries. Not only can this be overwhelming, but it can be distracting and can fill up your life until you have no time for more important things. Go on a media fast to get control over your information intake, and to simplify your life.

Create simple systems.
Once you’ve simplified your life, the way to keep it simple is by creating systems for everything you do regularly. Create an efficient system for laundry, mail and paperwork, errands, your workflow. Anything, really.

Take time to decompress after stress.
There will inevitably be times in your life when you go through high stress. Perhaps several times a week. To maintain your sanity, you need to find ways to decompress.

Be present.
Time can go by extremely quickly. Before you know it, your life has passed you by. Your kids are grown and your youth is gone. Don’t let your life slip by — enjoy it while it’s here. Instead of dwelling in the past or thinking about the future, practice being in the here and now.

Develop equanimity.
Keep your sanity through all the challenges that life throws at you. Rude drivers, irritating co-workers, mean commenters on your blog, inconsiderate family members. This takes a bit of practice, but you can let these things slide off you like you’re Teflon.

Spend time with family and loved ones.
One of the things that can lead to the greatest happiness, make this a priority every week, every day. Clear off as much time as possible to spend with those you love, and truly enjoy those times. Be present as you do it — don’t think about work or your blog or what you need to do.

Pick yourself up when you’re down.
There will always be times in our lives when we get a little down, even depressed. Take action to get yourself out of your slump.

Don’t compare yourself to others.
This is hard to do, but it can be a great way to accept who you are and what you have. Whenever you find yourself comparing yourself to a co-worker, a friend, or someone famous (those models on magazines with amazing abs), stop. And realize that you are different, with different strengths. Take a minute to appreciate all the good things about yourself, and to be grateful for all the blessings in your life.

Focus on benefits, not difficulties.
If you find yourself struggling to do something, or procrastinating, stop thinking about how hard something is, or why you don’t want to do it. Focus instead on what benefits it will have for you, what opportunities it will create — the good things about it. By changing the way you see things, you can change how you feel about them and make it easier to get things done.

Be romantic.
If you have that special someone, find little ways to be romantic. It can do wonders to keep your relationship alive and fresh. It doesn’t take tons of money, either.

Lose arguments.
I know someone who just celebrated his 50th anniversary, and I asked him for his secret to a long and happy marriage. He told me, that if I ever get into an argument with my wife, to just shut up. What he meant, I think, is that I shouldn’t try to be right in every argument. I think this is a reminder many of us need, not just the married ones. But instead of just giving up the argument, instead of trying to be right, instead seek to understand. Really try to understand the other person’s position, to see it from their point of view. This little tip can lead to much happiness.

Get into the flow.
This is both a happiness and productivity tip. Flow is the term for the state we enter when we are completely focused on the work or task before us. We are so immersed in our task that we lose track of time. Having work and leisure that gets you in this state of flow will almost undoubtedly lead to happiness. People find greatest enjoyment not when they’re passively mindless, but when they’re absorbed in a mindful challenge. Get into that flow by first doing something you are passionate about, and second by eliminating all distractions and really focusing on the task before you.

I don’t believe in multi-tasking, at least not on a day-to-day basis. Instead, focus on one task at a time. This leads to greater productivity and less stress. You can’t go wrong with that kind of combination.

Be frugal.

This is a habit, rather than a goal. It is a way of living, a different mindset, and the best way to live within your means. It doesn’t mean being cheap or forsaking pleasure, but it does mean finding less expensive ways to do things, learning to live with less (and be happier in the process), and controlling impulse spending.

Start small and slow.
Regular Zen Habits readers know that I advocate starting slow with any goal or habit change, and starting with a small goal rather than a big one. Why small? Because it’s something you are sure to achieve — and once you do achieve it, you can use that success to push you to further success. It’s a simple technique, but it really works. Start slow when you start exercise, or other similar activities — there’s no need to rush it in the beginning, to overdo it. You have the rest of your life!

Learn to deal with detractors.
We all face detractors in our lives. They are the naysayers who, even if they are well-intentioned, will make us feel unworthy, or that you cannot achieve a goal. They will tease or be negative. In order to achieve your goals, you need to learn how to deal with these detractors and overcome this common obstacle.

Go outdoors.
These days, too many of us spend so much of our time indoors, especially if our jobs and our ways of having fun are all online. Our kids are often just as bad or worse, with so many ways to watch TV, surf the internet or play video games. Get them and yourself outdoors, appreciate nature, the beauty of the world around us, and the fun of physical activity.

Retire early.
This isn’t a sure way to become happy — you can retire and be bored out of your mind and unhappy — but it’s surely a cool goal. And if you do something meaningful with your life, such as volunteer and help others, it can be a way to be really happy. It’s not an easy goal, either, but you can retire early by cutting back on your living expenses, increasing your income, and investing the difference. The more you can do of all three, the fast you’ll retire. And that’s a truly liberating idea.

Savor the little things.
Sure, the big things can bring big pleasure, but there are so many more little things in our lives. Savor them when they come up. It’s a way of practicing being present — stop and notice what you’re doing right now, what’s around you. And take time to enjoy it.

Be lazy.
There’s a time to be productive, and there’s a time to be plain ol’ lazy. I like the latter, and do it every chance I get. Does that make me a lazy person? Probably not, but even if it does, I don’t care. It makes me happy, and the kids love being lazy with me.

Help others.
While finding pleasure in life is one way to be happy, doing something that is more than you, that helps others to be happy or to suffer less, is even more rewarding. I suggest you find a good cause or two and volunteer some of your time. You don’t have to commit to big chunks of your life, but just volunteer for a couple of hours. All of us can find a couple of hours in a week or a month. If you do this, you will find out how tremendously happy this will make you. You might even become addicted.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Body's Innate Healing Power - Stem Cells

IV. What are adult stem cells?

"An adult stem cell is thought to be an undifferentiated cell, found among differentiated cells in a tissue or organ. The adult stem cell can renew itself and can differentiate to yield some or all of the major specialized cell types of the tissue or organ. The primary roles of adult stem cells in a living organism are to maintain and repair the tissue in which they are found. Scientists also use the term somatic stem cell instead of adult stem cell, where somatic refers to cells of the body (not the germ cells, sperm or eggs). Unlike embryonic stem cells, which are defined by their origin...the origin of adult stem cells in some mature tissues is still under investigation.

Research on adult stem cells has generated a great deal of excitement. Scientists have found adult stem cells in many more tissues than they once thought possible.... Scientists now have evidence that stem cells exist in the brain and the heart, two locations where adult stem cells were not at first expected to reside....

The history of research on adult stem cells began more than 60 years ago. In the 1950s, researchers discovered that the bone marrow contains at least two kinds of stem cells. One population, called hematopoietic stem cells, forms all the types of blood cells in the body. A second population, called bone marrow stromal stem cells (also called mesenchymal stem cells, or skeletal stem cells by some), were discovered a few years later. These non-hematopoietic stem cells make up a small proportion of the stromal cell population in the bone marrow and can generate bone, cartilage, and fat cells that support the formation of blood and fibrous connective tissue.

In the 1960s, scientists who were studying rats discovered two regions of the brain that contained dividing cells that ultimately become nerve cells. Despite these reports, most scientists believed that the adult brain could not generate new nerve cells. It was not until the 1990s that scientists agreed that the adult brain does contain stem cells that are able to generate the brain's three major cell types—astrocytes and oligodendrocytes, which are non-neuronal cells, and neurons, or nerve cells.

A. Where are adult stem cells found, and what do they normally do?

Adult stem cells have been identified in many organs and tissues, including brain, bone marrow, peripheral blood, blood vessels, skeletal muscle, skin, teeth, heart, gut, liver, ovarian epithelium, and testis. They are thought to reside in a specific area of each tissue (called a "stem cell niche"). In many tissues, current evidence suggests that some types of stem cells are pericytes, cells that compose the outermost layer of small blood vessels. Stem cells may remain quiescent (non-dividing) for long periods of time until they are activated by a normal need for more cells to maintain tissues, or by disease or tissue injury...."

What activated the stem cells?
Could imagery, hypnosis and similar methods utilize these stem cells for directed healing by thought?

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Healing Your Past – Essential Tools - Arian A. Sarris, LMFT

From Healing Your Past – Essential Tools
Arian A. Sarris, LMFT

Three Essential Tools for Doing Healing work: Using the Present Time Wand / Cleaning Your Space / Retrieving Your Energy

Using The Present Time Wand

This technique requires nothing more than your imagination. You may or may not notice any body reaction as you do the technique, but there will be shifts in your energy. If you feel any kind of jolt, that’s your bodies adjusting and realigning to the newly accessible energies. I consider this exercise simply one of the most effective tools in your spiritual and psychic tool kit. I use it ALL THE TIME. Using the present time wand daily and before every healing session helps you process much more easily.

Ask your Higher Self to give you a present time wand. It may be any shape and form you can imagine. Pick it up and hold it. Imagine your fingers curved around it. This is your present time wand. (If you want to really hold a wand, you can buy or make one.)
Tap your aura seven times to clean it thoroughly. Move your hand slowly outward with each tap, until your arm is at the edge of your aura (about 18 inches).
Tap the top of your head, your forehead, your throat, your heart, your stomach, your navel, three inches below your navel, your pubis (these are your chakras).
Tap your feet and hands (which have their own chakras and help with the movement of energy through your body).
You have now brought all of you into present time.
Anything that is not in present time will drop off because it cannot remain at the present time vibration. Let that energy fall to the earth to be recycled.

Cleaning Your Space

Your aura is a flexible force field (AKA "personal space") about eighteen inches around your body. It defines your space: I belong here, and everybody else belongs out there. It does not isolate you from other people, since you can choose to let special friends inside–for visits. But this space belongs to only you. You have to define it–which means setting up boundaries between yourself and the world. That is not only a protection for you, but also a reassurance that you have a presence.
Focus your attention on your aura–your invisible energy shield. Ask that it contract to eighteen inches around you and cover you from feet to head.
Move your hands over the aura, as if you are smoothing it over your head to underneath your feet. Be aware of what it’s like being in your very own space.
Now it’s time to clean any alien energies from your space. Imagine holding a large golden comb with 18-inch teeth. It is wider than your body, so you can hold both ends with your hands. Use it to comb out your aura, like you’re combing your hair, but do it from head to toe. Physically run your hands up and down your body in a combing motion, holding the energy comb in your hand. Do the front, then the back, and then the sides.
Let the combed-out energies fall onto the earth, where they can be absorbed. You may feel some strange sensations in your body as you do this exercise, or soon afterward. After all, just having your own energy in your space is quite unusual.
Imagine a ray of sunlight pouring through your head and into your body, filling you up to the edges of your aura. This gold energy defines the limits of your space and raises your vibration so that no one with a lower vibration can invade you easily (see Chapter 5), or push you out of your space–at least for the moment–without your permission.

Retrieving Your Energy – Energy Whistle

Since alien energy gets stuck in your aura from both recent and long- past interactions, it’s only reasonable to assume that some of your energy has been left in other places, as well–and indeed it has, in every place you have lived, in your childhood, with family members, at your jobs, with friend and enemies–and all of it is locked in the past. This next technique reclaims your essence–maybe small amounts at first, but more and more as you do the exercise.
Close your eyes and imagine you holding an energy whistle, like an ultra-high-pitched dog whistle. Blow it to call your own energy home (and no one else’s).
Above your head is a bowl filled with golden liquid. This is energy soap. After a few moments, the pieces of your energy will start flowing back into this bowl, to be cleansed of anyone else’s cooties. They may appear or feel like snowflakes, blobs, a river of energy or light, or any other form you might imagine.
Give yourself about five minutes to allow your energy to come back. Then dump the bowl over your head so the energy pours into you. As your body and aura start absorbing your returning essence, you may even begin to feel like you have more shape and presence.
Every time you do this, you might suddenly recall memories or people from years ago. That’s where your energy was trapped.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

A Website about Self Healing

 Here are some excerpts from:

I began noticing my unique gifts and talents because I hadn’t yet honored them within myself. I noticed my good heart and loving nature. I quieted my critical inner voice and nurtured my complimentary voice.
When I began feeling special about myself, I naturally noticed that the people in my life were also very special. Eventually, I delighted in the special nature of every person I met. (Now you know why I love to do readings. I get to see and speak to the powerfully special and unique gifts in everyone.)
As my ego was honored and given permission to rest, my own healing sounds penetrated to the very core of me and eventually the MS symptoms were simply gone.

If you’re tried a lot of things to heal and you’re not seeing the progress you want, then there is a reason that you are stuck. We get stuck in our healing process because our fears and doubts are stronger than our intentions.
Because these fears and doubts are as uncomfortable as the root behind our illnesses, we suppress them. The fears take charge and we are stuck. Sometimes our own intelligence gets in our way, because we have learned that the way to be successful is to figure things out.
However, I have discovered that at the root of illnesses there are buried emotions, beliefs and unmet needs. And it can be a tangled knot to figure out for yourself what needs attention.
But you can lovingly and gently untangle the knot so that you can experience real and lasting healing…
…if you are willing to slow down, release the sense of panic, soothe the emotions, discover your unmet needs and meet them in new ways, and open to your gifts with loving compassion.

You can literally heal yourself right into a state of greater awakening and happiness using these 7 Steps:

7 Steps to Healing Anything

step-circle-bullet-1Observe your stories. We often live in a tangled in web of unmet needs, beliefs, karma, and emotions that are often the underlying cause of our illness or at least making it difficult to heal. By learning how to observe ourselves and release the tension of our inner-world knot, we are able untangle the web so that we can heal.
step-circle-bullet-2 Be in nature. Nature has healing properties, such as negative ions that aid the healing process. Even becoming more connected to the circadian, or natural rhythms of the days and seasons can help us heal. Did you know there is even a disease called Circadian Rhythm Disease that occurs when we are disconnected? Did you know the symptoms of this disease look like a lot of diseases? Learning how to connect with nature, not just notice it, can actually help you heal.
step-circle-bullet-3Unleash your creativity. Did you know that cutting yourself off from your creativity can contribute to making you ill and that reconnecting to it can help you become well? Many creative people are also deeply empathic. If you have cut off your empathy and creativity in an attempt to protect yourself from the overwhelming emotions of others, you might actually have energy backed up in your body making you ill. If you are not expressing your creativity, and being with your empathy in a safe way, you might unintentionally be contributing to your illness.
step-circle-bullet-4 Open to miracles. Many of us have been taught to pray in ways that leave miracles to chance. But the potential for creating miracles already lives inside us. Miracles require something more than faith. In order for miracles to happen you need to become the space in which miracles occur, and that requires learning new paradigms for living.
step-circle-bullet-5 Tell the truth. Many of us attempt to use our intentions to heal, but don’t realize that we won’t heal if our subconscious mind thinks we are lying. We sabotage ourselves when, for example, we use an affirmation we don’t believe fully such as, “I feel completely well and healthy,” when we really feel terrible. Of course affirmations can work, but first you have to get to the truth that exists behind the symptoms of not feeling well. This is what most of us attempt to avoid and it is a reason that many of us remain ill. We become well when we develop the ability to be completely present to the truth—all of it.
step-circle-bullet-6 Love the wound. Out of a sense of self-protection, most of us avoid the emotional wound behind the physical pain we are experiencing. We are afraid we will have to relive something or that we won’t be able to take it if we discovered the root cause behind our illness. However, if we meet the emotional wound with compassion, the emotional root dissolves. You can meet the wound safely and you free yourself from its hold using some very simple approaches.
step-circle-bullet-7 Feel the freedom. This is the tricky one and it is the reason every other step comes first. In order to heal you have to feel the freedom of being well in your body. That can sound impossible when you are in pain. But by using the other steps you can create moments of wellness. As you recreate the feeling of wellness, the cells of your body understand what you want from them and they begin working hard for you—taking you right into the feeling of wellness you ultimately want. 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Compassionate Dragon Glands and more

Adrenal Glands; The Adrenals are the glands that sit on top of the Kidneys and mainly associated with handling stress. Specifically they regulate sugar and salt in the body by means of two hormones; Cortisone and Fludrocortisone. Problems with the Adrenals represent succumbing to the stress in your Life. Stress comes from resistance and has nothing to do with how hard you work or how many problems you have. Adrenal problems mean that the path you are on is not for you. Of course, since you are fighting it every inch. Burn out comes from pursuing a goal that is not for you. If Life is a struggle you are probably not where you would like to be. The steps to Adrenal Insufficiency (Addison's Disease) are; 1) Irritability, anxiety, panic attacks. 2) Anorexia, Bulimia, weight loss, 3) Seizures & 4) death. In Chinese Medicine the Adrenal Glands are associated with the function of the Kidney organ system.
Ears; are designed to hear everything. There are no secrets. Everybody knows everything all the time. Deafness, Tinnitus, infections are all attempts to filter out things you do not want to hear. What is it you do not want to hear?

Gallbladder; Gallbladder problems represent a fear of inappropriate expression. In Chinese Medicine, the Gallbladder is the seat of Courage.

Heart; The Heart houses the Mind. Traditionally it is the symbol for Love or Truth. Speaking from the Heart reveals your true essence. The emotion of the Heart is Joy. A Heart by-pass asks whose Love or Truth are you by passing?

Kidneys; At the physical level, Kidneys filter out the 'anti' in our Life. It is better to be for something than to be against something. Kidneys house the emotion of Fear. In Chinese Medicine, the Kidneys are considered to be at the root of all the other organ systems. This is reflected in the idea that Fear is at the root of all the other emotions we consider negative or life limiting.

Lungs; The emotion of the Lungs is Grief. There is also general agreement on this association. Breathing problems like Asthma indicate retained Grief. Frequent sighing or breathlessness can often be a sign of suppressed Anger.

Lymph Glands; Lymph Glands are one method the body has for eliminating toxins. If you have problems here, check you priorities. Are you retaining toxic thoughts or beliefs for no apparent reason?

Pituitary Gland; The Pituitary Gland is known as the Master Gland of the Endocrine System. Its secretions regulate all the other Endocrine Glands. This gland represents one's ability to coordinate the different aspects of one's Life. Problems represent difficulty doing this. The Pituitary Gland is linked to the Hypothalamus, also located in the brain, whose function is to maintain Homeostasis in the body. That is the body's tendency to return automatically to its level of highest functioning. Metaphysically, this means aligning the frequencies of the physical and energetic bodies to homeostatically return to one's highest spiritual functioning.

Pineal Gland; The Pineal Gland is sensitive to light, both the outer and inner light. The Pineal represents one's ability to tell the difference between the Light and the Dark; Truth from Illusion.

Pancreas; The Pancreas is both an Exocrine Gland, in that it secretes digestive juices through a duct into the stomach and an Endocrine Gland via the Islets of Langerhans located on its surface that secrete sugar regulating hormones directly into the bloodstream. The Pancreas is most often associated with Diabetes Mellitus, the body's inability to process sugar, which is the result of an Autoimmune destruction of the Islets of Langerhans. Diabetes may be said to represent a denial of the sweetness of Life. It may also represent a misplaced faith in one's own ability to control the physical world. Given that the Pancreas has a dual function, reflecting the essential duality of the physical Universe, it has both the ability to digest ideas and to extract that which is not only sweet, but Life sustaining. A type I diabetic does not live long without Insulin injections.

Skin; The Skin is your outer covering, that holds things in and helps define your physical presence. The Skin is the first line of defense against invading organisms. Skin problems represent difficulties with boundaries... keeping things in and keeping things out. A lack of balance between the inner you and the outer you results in things coming out such as rashes, boils, and pustules and things coming in such as colds, flu and infections. In Chinese Medicine, Wei Qi which resides on the surface of the body is responsible for protecting against such things. Skin eruptions indicate long standing resentments not being expressed appropriately. Rashes represent the Heat of Anger. Itching represents dissatisfaction with the way things are going and/or dissatisfaction with yourself. Invading organisms such as the Flu, colds, or parasites represent a lack of ability to protect yourself or put another way, a lack of descrimination about who and what you let into your life.

Spleen; The physical organ represents a belief in Hereditary. In Chinese Medicine the Spleen system is responsible for nourishing the body at the Qi or energetic level. Modern medicine theorizes that the Spleen has no useful function and routinely removes it without apparent harm to the patient. This comes from a Mechanistic attitude that theorizes it is our DNA that determines who we are rather than our Spirit. Hence the belief that if one's DNA were better one would be a better person. Metaphysically, the Spleen has the function of 'transforming' physical nutrients into Metaphysical ones and nourishing at both levels. Recent evidence suggests that the Spleen organ is important to the immune system, although it is not clear how that might be.

Thyroid; The Thyroid represents the communication between the Head and the Heart. Thyroid problems most often represent a lack of or miscommunication between what one thinks and one's Truth. Problems may also represent a lack of ability to speak up for one's self.

Thymus Gland; The Thymus gland is located below the Sternum and is connected to the Immune System. The Thymus gland is the most active gland in the body before Puberty, but virtually ceases functioning in adulthood shrinking to a fraction of the size. Like the Spleen, Modern Medicine sees no useful purpose for this gland and at one time routinely removed it. The Thymus represents, according to one of my teachers, 'the courage to stand in the love of what you believe in rather than in defense of it. That the Thymus is active in childhood and protects the body, much as a parent would protect a child until that child is able to take on that responsibility him/herself, suggests that the function of the Thymus after puberty becomes less a physical one and more a metaphysical one. Self protection is an act of Self-Love as much as it is a function of T-Lymphocyte cells.

Cervix; Problems with the Cervix represents punishing the Self at a deep level.

As mentioned above, this is only a partial list. In Metaphysics there is always the danger of getting bogged down in the details and missing the Wholistic picture. Metaphysical diagnosis takes into account a great many signs and symptoms, existing in the four energetic levels which are then interpreted according to Life details that only you can provide.
This is more an exercise for you, the client, than it is for me the practitioner. All I can do is help you to identify the areas of your Life that you might want to look at and suggest various therapies. If you have any questions or comments, or if you don't see your symptoms in this list, e-mail or call me and I will answer as soon as possible.

Compsionate Dragon: Excellent site on select issues - roots and causes

These are from another website, as is most of what i post.
this is only a small fraction of the wonerful onformation on the site, so please click or cut and paste the link for much more!

Please note that these are only general observations, serving hopefully to illuminate areas that you can look at more closely in yourself or with the help of a healer. You are the one who knows you best. As you go through these observations try to expand your awareness beyond your own life to see also how these disharmonies are reflected in your own family, community, country and in the world. Ultimately it is our own choice to heal or not to heal and it is our own innate healing ability that is activated.


Headaches; Pain always indicates a separation of some sort from something. Usually we say separation from what is the Truth. The greater the pain the more important that something is. Depending on which part of the head is afflicted the meaning changes. Louise Hay suggests that Headaches indicate invalidating the Self out of Fear. In Chinese Medicine there are several different kinds of headaches according to the quality of the pain and the location on the head. Read on.

Vertex; The top of the head is associated with our connection to the Universe or God. Pain here is associated with separation from that higher power. It is also associated with the Kidneys and the emotion is Fear. Both the Gallbladder and Urinary Bladder channels traverse the top of the head. The Gallbladder is associated with Courage, and the Urinary Bladder through its associate with the Kidneys is associated with Fear. Du 20 (Baihui) located at the top of the head is used extensively to 'calm the spirit' in Chinese Medicine.

Forehead; The forehead is associated with the 3rd eye, both in Chakra Theory and Traditional Chinese Medical theory. The 3rd eye is associated with introspection and illumination of your own Inner Being. Pain here is associated with separation from your own Inner Being. In Chinese Medicine, Yintang, which is located midway between the inner ends of the eyebrows, Du 23 (Shangxing), Du 24 ( Shenting) which are located at the hairline directly above Yintang and Du 20 (Baihui) located at the top of the head, all have the action of 'calming the spirit.' Yintang is associated with the eyes; not only the eyes that look outward but the eyes that look inward and is indicated in some emotional disorders.

Temporal; The sides of the head are associated with courage, especially courage to face your world. Migraine Headaches, usually located in the front quadrants, right or left, indicates a separation from your world. The involvement of the eyes in Migraines indicate not only an unwillingness to look without, but to look within. Most Migraine sufferers report, not only severe pain behind the eye, but also acute sensitivity to light. In Chinese Medicine, a number of Meridians run through this area. The Gallbladder Channel is associated with courage. The San Jiao channel is involved with processing of water (the elixir of Life), and the Small Intestine Channel is involved with deriving nourishment from the world. Both the San Jiao Channel and the Small Intestine Channel are connected to the Heart, whose emotion is Joy and where the Mind is located. Lack of Joy (with one's self) is strongly indicated by pain in this area. There is also Anger indicated by the Gallbladder channel's link with the Liver.

Occipital; The back of the head represents your past. Some say also this is an area of spirituality. Pain here represents something in your past that is not complete and remains unforgiven. The back of the head is traversed by the Gallbladder Channel and the Urinary Bladder Channels indicating Anger born of Fear. The Back of the Head is thought to be the seat of Spiritual Experiences. The only way to see them is through inner sight. Pain in the back of the head represents an unwillingness to look deep within for the source of Light & Truth.


Spine; The Spine Represents the support you think you have in Life and your alignment with those supportive forces. Curved spine, or Scoliosis represents a misalignment with Life. Spasms represent an unwillingness to accept the support that is there.

Shoulders; Shoulders represent burdens and responsibilities. Frozen Shoulder for example represents a complete unwillingness to shoulder your responsibilities in Life, especially your own Life. Pain and dysfunction to varying degrees represents varying degrees of unwillingness to be responsible. Moving forward in Life sometimes requires that you 'put your shoulder to the wheel' to overcome inertia. the Gallbladder channel traverses the shoulders and indicates Courage ( or lack of...).
The back, in Chinese Medicine, is considered to be your Yang side; the active, aggressive, lighted side. The back also represents that which is behind you. Very often we do not see clearly that which is behind us. Back problems generally represent conflict between the urge to move forward and the inertia of an unforgiven past that holds us back. This tension very often separates us from both and pain is the result. Louse Hay suggests that backs generally represent support.

Mid back; The mid back is the link between the shoulder and the lower back. It can be a weak link. As we firm up our shoulders and become willing to take on the responsibilities of Life, and we have gathered around us the financial and emotional support we need (lower back), something sneaks up and stabs us in the back. This is a blind spot. Not only can we not see it, but is very difficult to reach. The weak link crumbles. It is the saboteur or seducer that takes us off our path. Located in this area are the Tonification points (called 'Shu' points) for the Liver, the Stomach, and the Spleen. These organs are responsible for the transformation and transportation of Qi, and the free flow of Qi in the body. Blockages here affect the entire body and can stop you dead in your tracks. The Spleen represents Worry or Overthinking and the Liver represents Anger or base emotions. Both of these can sabotage even the best laid plans. Louse Hay suggests that the mid-back represents Guilt and stuck in the past stuff.

Lower Back; The Lower Back represents support; financial support, emotional support of family and friends, and support of God or the Universe. The Kidneys are located in this area and Kidney dysfunction results in Fear/Fright/Phobias. A sore lower back may indicate that we have taken on more than we think we can handle. This is a dysfunction, only if it is not the Truth. If we have indeed taken on too much, that would be indicated by a physical trauma to the back and all we need to do is lighten the load. Chronic low back ache, though, not associated with any trauma is the one with the Metaphysical application, and the one related to Kidney depletion. Kidneys are considered to have a central function relative to other organs since it is where Yuan Qi or our Primary Essence is stored. Yuan Qi is also known as Primary Qi or Congenital Qi. It is the Qi you are born with and determines your relative strength in the world. It is considered to be quite difficult to strengthen an already weak Yuan Qi, but it can be done. Low back pain is often diminished by strengthening the Kidneys. In short, Low back pain, generally refers to a lack of trust in the Universe to protect and support. Louise Hay suggests Fear of money is indicated.

Coccyx; The Coccyx/Sacrum is the seat of Self-pity. There is a fear of asking for help. One would rather sit and feel sorry for one's self than get of one's ass and do something.


Hips; Hips represent decisions in Life, especially decisions about moving forward. Pain in the hips is a sign of being 'stuck', unable to make a decision, or see clearly what is needed to be done next. The process of walking requires that we first thrust the hip forward and the leg etc. follows. This is actually, an act of faith on our part, since we are quite literally initiating a fall to the ground and trusting that our legs will save us. The Gallbladder Channel traverses the hip which again represents Courage and confidence to move forward. Louise Hay suggests that hip problems represent fear of going forward with major decisions. Hips represent the idea that the next step in your life is important. Pain or discomfort advises you to slow down or stop, look around, buy a map, or ask someone for directions.

Upper Thighs; Thighs are the link between the Hips & decisions, and the Knees & pride. Very often, when we have made a decision and take the next step, Pride gets in the way. "What if I look stupid? What if it's not right? What if it doesn't work out?" Our knees lock up or turn to jelly, and we are prevented from moving forward. The pain that begins in the Hips and shoots down the Thigh (Sciatic Nerve), is the separation from our desire and decision to move forward and our Fear of falling flat on our ass. Louse Hay suggests that Upper Thigh problems represent retaining childhood trauma.

Knees; Knees represent Pride. In spiritual practice it is suggested that one must go down before one can rise up, as Jesus did before John the Baptist, before taking up his own ministry. Pride or Ego keeps us from surrendering to the Will of God or the Universe. In practice, every time we move forward in Life or approach change, we approach the unknown. We may feel vulnerable or unsure. We may stand still, stiff kneed resisting the winds of change. It is interesting to note that stiff, sore knees are a symptom of Kidney deficiency, whose emotion is Fear. Rather than admit our fear, we resist it until it overwhelms us. While knees represent Pride, and it is said that 'Pride goes before the fall', knees can also represent Humility which is the wisdom to be yielding in the face of change.
Briefly, Knee problems may be said to indicate being stuck in the Ego, too proud to bend. Louise Hay also suggests that Knees represent Pride and the Ego.

Shins; The Shins represent another weak link. Although the Shins are mostly bone, the hardest substance in the body, the Shins are actually quite sensitive and brittle. A slight whack on the Shins is not only painful, it weakens the entire body and stops it cold. When we have organized ourselves to move forward, to take the next step towards the goal we have set, and are in the process of taking it, something comes along and sends you tumbling. It is something we trip over because we don't see it, even though it is right there in front of us. In ancient times the shin pads that worriers wore were called greaves. Very often what trips us up is something, the loss of which we haven't properly grieved. Moving forward always means something gets left behind. Interesting to note is that the three Yin channels of the foot all criss cross at Spleen 6 (Sanyinjiao), representing a confluence of Worry, Anger, and Fear. Moving forward is often marked by a jumble of emotional responses which need to be sorted out, especially if we are resisting it. Louise Hay suggests that problems are fear of the future; not wanting to move ahead.

Ankles; Ankles represent flexibility, which is important as one navigates the twists and turns of Life. Stiff, painful ankles means that change is difficult for you. Maybe you are one who digs in your heels and resists moving forward. The more Life forces change upon you, the deeper you dig in. A broken ankle is a good sign to develop some flexibility in your Life. Louise Hay suggests that ankles represent mobility and direction.

Feet; Our feet represent our connection with Mother Earth. Sore, swollen, numb or painful feet represent the state of our relation with our Mother. Mother Earth, and our base energies. While it is legs that carry us forward into Life, it is the feet that actually make contact with the ground and can stop any advance, or at least make it difficult. In modern society with its asphalt, concrete and High Rises, we lose touch with the Earth and its energies. This may be reflected in our relationship to the one who gave birth to us. Separation can cause real pain.

All the Leg Yin & Yang channels meet and flow into each other in the toes. This is an area of high energy and strong effect on the body. This is an area where strong energies are in transition, so our contact with Mothers, Mother Earth and our base energies is always ambivalent. We want to draw closer to that love, but at the same time move away on our own course.
In my experience, the feet often store toxic energies (as often to do with grief or resentments as not), as far away from the Heart as possible. This means, in the feet. Often, these are issues that go all the way back to childhood. Lacking the tools to effectively release grief or resentment the body stores it, like it stores fat. Over time, more and more toxic energies are stored here and fill up the receptacle. In many cases, the entire leg can become involved and the waste starts leaking back into the system. This is a very serious situation indeed, that can lead to amputations, blood disorders and even death, as the body struggles to protect the Heart. Metaphysically, it becomes clear that the space you are standing in is painful. The key is to move on. Stop dwelling on the past, release or transform whatever it is that keeps you emotionally standing still. Louise Hay suggests that feet represent our understanding of ourselves, of Life, and others, and toes represent minor details of the future.

Throat; The Throat represents our Will, and our ability to communicate, both with others and with ourselves. Sore throats, lumps in the throat, tumours all represent difficulties in saying what we want to say. Lumps, both physical tumours and those that are non-manifest (Hystericus Globus) are our willful attempts to block free expression of emotion and of our identity. The Throat is another one of those weak links that can seduce or sabotage you from your path. The Throat is the channel between the Head and the Heart. In Chinese Medicine it is said the Heart houses the Mind, especially in its connection with the emotion of Joy and the expression of Love for ourselves and for others. Have you ever had a great idea, gotten your body motivated, put your Heart into it, only to say something completely stupid which makes a mess of things? Have you ever felt the urge to say something complimentary and suppressed it? Have you ever just blurted out something that just seemed to by-pass the brain? How often does a careless or ill chosen word create havoc in your Life? Where this comes from is all the things you have not said over the years that get stuck in the throat, needing to get out, and out they come, one way or the other.
All emotions are designed to be expressed, even the ones we judge to be negative and especially the ones we judge to be positive. Louise Hay calls the the Throat an avenue of expression and a channel of creativity. Problems indicate an inability to speak up for one's self, swallowed anger , stifled creativity and refusal to change. Thyroid problems indicate difficulty in analyzing, digesting and assimilating the communication between the Head and the Heart.

Chest/Breasts; The chest area represents the Feminine principal of nurturing and nourishing the connection with the 'breath of Life' as it flows through the Lungs. In men, pain or discomfort, not associated with any organ or vessel represents a disconnection from the Feminine principal. Breast envy, may exist in men; the desire to connect with the feminine side, the same way penis envy is said to exist in women; the desire to connect with the masculine side. In Chinese Medicine, the front is considered Yin. The chest is the confluence of the three most important kinds of Qi, that nourish the body; Zhong Qi, from the Lungs, Jing Qi, from the Spleen, and Yuan Qi from the Kidneys. Breast problems represents a denial of the Mother/feminine principal to nourish the self and to nourish others. Louise Hay suggest also that the breasts represent mothering and nurturing. Cysts, lumps etc. represents over mothering.

Solar Plexus; Is said to the be the seat of the Ego and Individuation. Some call this the Negative Ego. In general this area represents the conflicts in your life. Pain or discomfort in the Diaphragm area represents unresolved conflicts. In Chinese Medicine, pain in this area indicates Liver Qi Stagnation, usually associated with Anger.

Stomach; The stomach represents digestion, not only of food and physical nutrients, but of new ideas, new ways of doing things, and accepting change of any kind. The Stomach is nothing more than a big flexible bag of muscle whose job it is to ripen and rot whatever is put into it. That is, its job is to break down what is put into it into a form that the body can deal with. This it does by adding Hydrochloric Acid, Hormones, Enzymes and Bile which reduces every sold morsel into an undifferentiated mass called Chyme. Simultaneously it rocks back and forth swishing and swilling this mess until it is liquefied and able to pass through the small Pyloric Valve into the Small Intestine where the actual absorption of nutrients mostly takes place. Metaphysically, when we come upon a new idea or a new way of doing things, the process is similar. First we must swallow the idea, either whole or in handy bite sized morsels, break it down into a form we can handle and finally absorb that which we need to nourish ourselves. In the same way that a bad diet poisons the body, toxic ideas, suppressed emotions and resistance to change can have a poisoning effect. In traditional Chinese Medicine, long standing emotional disharmony is seen as a primary cause of disease. Strengthening the Spleen/Stomach which between them are responsible for transforming food and water into Qi, and transporting it throughout the body, is seen as a key strategy to deal with almost any disease. Metaphysically we need to nourish ourselves every day, just as we need to eat nourishing foods. Just as the physical body needs nourishment to grow and carry on its day to day activities, so do the Emotional, Mental, and Spiritual bodies. Metaphysically, 'wellness' is not accomplished by a change in diet alone. Louise Hay suggests that the stomach holds nourishment, digests ideas. Problems indicate dread, fear of the new, and an inability to assimilate the new.

In the West we tend to think of illness as being only in the body. Even so-called mental illnesses we treat by drugging the body. Looked at Wholistically, when an illness manifests itself in the physical body, we are actually seeing the last stage of a dysfunction that began in the Spirit. A poverty of Spirit will work its way down through the energetic bodies of Mind and Emotions to finally take up residence in the body. At first, at the Mental Level we have a vague awareness that something is wrong. As this happens mostly in childhood, not knowing really what to do with it, we ignore these signs and get on with the business of being a kid. After all, who has the time to sit and meditate on a vague awareness. As a matter of fact, those who engage in Esoteric practices to link up with aspects of Spirit are most often recruited around the ages of 3-5 and spend a lifetime learning the practical processes for connecting with spirit.
The next level down is the Emotions. As we grow and especially in adolescence, the emotions take over. The emotions are mainly the language of the Ego. Serious spiritual practitioners spend a lot of time learning how to control their emotions. If we do not learn to express our emotions in a healthy manner, they do begin to become toxic. It is, of course, difficult to learn to express our emotions in a healthy manner if we are already dysfunctional at the levels of Mind and Spirit. By the time we are well along to adulthood, the emotions of Anger, Fear, Worry and Grief begin to overwhelm us. Given the state of health of young people today, one does not have to wait very long for these toxic emotions to begin manifesting in the physical body. The unhealthy diet that is standard fare for millions of teenagers today, reflects the toxicity that exists at the emotional and mental levels of their beings.
With this in mind, the following is a partial list of diseases, and conditions and their general Metaphysical meanings. Again, my sources are Louise Hay, my Reiki teacher, Denise Crundall, Traditional Chinese Medical theory, and my own experiences in the area. To be kept in mind, as you look up your specific dysfunction is that the purpose diagnosing a dysfunction is to design a treatment.

In a Wholistic practice, specific conditions and body parts are subordinate to the healing of the whole. While western medical designations, generally speaking have minimal value in an wholistic approach, they do provide more information to help it along. If you have a symptom or disease that doesn't appear on this list, or if you have any questions, do not hesitate to e-mail or call.

Diseases and Conditions

Heart Disease; The physical approach to heart disease suggests that it is caused by a diet loaded up with processed food, complex carbohydrates, so-called 'bad' fatty acids and 'bad' cholesterol. Your basic North American diet, in other words which causes plaque to build up in the arteries restricting and even cutting off blood flow to the heart. This is commonly called 'Hardening of the Arteries.'

At the metaphysical level we may paraphrase and call it 'Hardening of the Attitudes.'

Knowing the self requires that we speak through the Heart. Self mastery is the first step in any healing journey. Ancient wisdom suggests that the Truth resides in the heart. The natural tendency of the Truth is to come out. The more we resist the truth about ourselves, the more effort is required to keep the truth from showing itself.

Eventually, the effort required is so great the blockage manifests on the physical plane.

In short, heart disease suggests a conscious separation from the authentic self, and certainly from one's own Joy, which is the emotion of the heart. What is the joy in life that you are missing. Heart by-pass surgery is a way of by passing the love that is right there for you.

Alzheimer's; Alzheimer's is rooted in fear. Fear of what is here and fear of what is next. Alzheimer's is a way of dying without actually going through the process. the brain shuts down over a long period of time. People who do Alzheimer's are doing a rather intense drama not only for themselves but for those around them. It is a way of being the centre of attention in doing the drama of death. In a manner of speaking, Alzheimer's is a way of staying on the planet long after the DNA programming says we should leave. Alzheimer's may be seen as one of the down sides of modern medicine. It is one response to lengthening the life span by man-made means. Not the only response of course, and not necessarily a response we need to judge badly. Living on borrowed time, as it were, gives us second chances to learn the lessons we have come here to learn.

Life makes less and less sense. Brain diseases represent that which does not compute in our lives. So, life does not compute, and one retreats further and further from it until there is nowhere left to go but onto the next step. Alzheimer's is another one of those diseases of the 20th century that appeared only rarely on the planet before. As more and more people choose this particularly dramatic way of exiting this life, I believe, we have more and more opportunity to grasp the role of spirit and the implications of overcoming DNA programming.

In other cultures in other times, such people were looked on with reverence. They were seen to be in direct contact with the spirit world. They were sacred and holy in a way, even if it made them crazy in this world.

Arthritis; represents 'oozing resentments'. You are so angry your joints become inflamed. Who or what is it that you resent so much? Louise Hay suggests this comes from feeling unloved.

Anemia; is a belief in sacrifice, especially self-sacrifice. The idea behind sacrifice is to give back to the Gods or Nature some of what you have received. It is an act of gratitude and in many cases celebration. In Christian tradition, we seem to have associated sacrifice with suffering. We do the 'Jesus thing' and hang ourselves up on a metaphysical cross, not realizing that Jesus did it so we wouldn't have to. Without the connection to Spirit, sacrifice is nothing more than unnecessary suffering. When sacrifice comes from the Ego, it is an attempt to create a debt. You may have noticed that others tend not to notice your sacrifice. When done from Spirit, sacrifice creates gratitude.

Accidents; Automobile accidents are a clumsy attempt to connect with your world and those in it. Other kinds of accidents are attempts to draw attention, either of anger of sympathy, or they represent rebellion in a passive aggressive style. These all come from feeling disconnected, which in turn comes from self-absorption. You are refusing to take responsibility for your self and/or your actions.

Cancer; According to one researcher we all have cancer or potential cancer cells in our body. Cancer is another one of the diseases that was pretty much unknown a hundred years ago. On a rudimentary level, cancer cells are mistakes. Our body generates new cells according to our own unique DNA template every few days or weeks. Much like an assembly line, every so often mistakes are made. Our immune system normally takes care of these mistakes much like Quality Control removes mistakes from an assembly line.

A well nourished Immune System tends to be quite ruthless, not only in removing mistakes as they occur but also in flushing them out of the body. However, if an immune system is compromised quality control is compromised and the mistakes start to pile up. Eventually a tumour is formed around the site where these mistakes are stored, further compromising the immune system and as often as not poisoning the system.

Cancer is not actually a foreign body that invades the system. It is a part of the system itself and one may argue that it has as much right to be in the body as anything else. This fact is probably why conventional treatments are only marginally effective and tend to be as harsh on the patient as the cancer itself.

Metaphysically, Cancer represents Father issues. This refers not only one's earthly parent, but also to one's Heavenly Father. Since Cancer is likely to show up in almost any part of the body, diagnosing metaphysically consists of looking at Father issues related to whatever part of the body in which the cancer occurs. For example, Lung Cancer would be unresolved grief as it relates to the father on earth and/or unresolved grief over the separation from the Father in Heaven.

One's relationship with the Father in Heaven is ultimately all pervasive and mirrors the progress of the Cancer in the body. Eventually, regardless where the cancer began it involves the entire organism.

Diabetes; is a dysfunction of the Pancreas Gland or more precisely the Islets of Langerhans located on the Pancreas that secrete Insulin which the body needs to process sugar. The secretion of Insulin is regulated by Cortisone secreted from the Adrenal Glands. The Adrenal glands regulate both sugar and salt in the body.

Metaphysically then diabetes represents a difficulty in processing the sweetness of life. One may be bitter at the world. Things are not the way they should be.

Diabetes manifests in two types. Type I, which is also referred to as Juvenile Diabetes because it strikes mostly children, is the complete shutdown of the Insulin producing cells. This means these children have already come through with sufficient karmic bitterness to be blinded to the sweetness of this life.

Type II, which is also referred to as Adult Onset Diabetes means that one has accumulated bitterness over the course of this lifetime. Noted also is that obesity is almost always an accompanying symptom. Excess weight, metaphysically, is a way of putting distance between ourselves and others; a way of emphasizing our separation and isolation from others.

Enlarged Heart; is a belief in not enough Love to go around. A tendency to hoard Love and block the flow. There is no way the physical heart will get big enough to encompass the Love of Spirit. The Metaphysical Heart, on the other hand is adequate to handle the Love of the Universe.

Hiatus Hernia; is a belief in freeloading. In Chinese Medicine, Hernias are known as a Shan disorder. According to the theory it is the Spleen's job to keep things in their proper place. The emotion of the Spleen is Worry. While one has belief in 'freeloading' at another level the truth is nothing is free.

Impotence; Gonads represent the power to create the future. Impotence reflects an inability or unwillingness to sow the seeds of the future. The Gonads are connected to the Kidneys in Chinese Medicine. The Kidneys house Yuan Qi or one's physical essence. Impotence suggests an unwillingness to create a legacy, or a fear that one's essence would be wasted.

Insomnia; Insomnia is a fear of death. There seems to be general agreement on this one. In many cultures, sleep is thought of as the 'little death.' Each day we die to the day before and awaken reborn. In Chinese Theory the constantly changing Universe means that each day we awake to a brand new Universe. Some believe that our Ethereal Soul awakens in sleep and travels the Metaphysical world unfettered in our dreams. In the Hebrew tradition, sleep and dream prophecies are intricately linked. God may speak to us in our dreams. Fear of Death may also represent Fear of God, Fear of Karma, or Fear of Accountability.

Multiple Sclerosis; Multiple Sclerosis indicates a lack of awareness that one has the freedom to choose one's Life. There is a lack of control over the essentials for operating in the physical world.

Nausea; Nausea represents undigested ideas, especially new ones.

Osteoporosis; is the eating away of our firm foundation. Bones are the hardest substance in the body. They support and give strength to the body. They are also the most brittle of substances that make up the body. If we see ourselves as having little or no support in the world of a physical or of a metaphysical nature our own foundation is weakened and the structure collapses in upon itself.

Prostate; The Prostate is the organ that projects the Semen out of the body. Cancer of the Prostate indicates denial of the Father or fatherhood or at least one's ability to project into the world. Enlargement indicates the desire to retain one's seed, or an unwillingness to share it with the world. On a purely physical level, enlarged prostate is simply due to lack of use for its intended purpose. That Western medical authorities are predicting that as many as 60% to 80% of all men will experience prostate problems in later life is really something to think about. There is also indicated an underlying fear of creativity especially in its association with sexuality. Probably more like a fear of getting caught.

Repetitive Strain Injury; RSI is the result of resistance. Any kind of pain is the result of disassociation from one's Authentic self. RSI is most likely to afflict those who do not love what they are doing. It comes from holding back and not giving it your all. Perhaps you are in a job or relationship that does not serve your highest good. The question is what are you resisting or resenting?

Stroke; Having a stroke represents a giving up on Life. Life is too much of a struggle and one would rather die or become an invalid than carry on. Perhaps one sees service as a burden and decides it is now time to be served. The key to life is giving and receiving. Both are equally important. If you have difficulty being served you may experience a stroke to help you learn the art of receiving.

Viral Infections; Viruses need a host and can end up killing the host. Infections represent a willingness to host other life forms harmful to us. Who have you invited into your Life that drains your energy or contaminates your space? Becoming a host to a virus may be carrying the idea of service just a little too far.

Breast Cancer; Breast Cancer represents a preference for the symbols of Love, rather than the Love itself. Cancer, generally represents Father issues, or more specifically that one is not the centre of the father's world. This may mean a rejection of one's femininity by the Father or at least the perception of that. Or, since Breasts project out into the world, and therefore have that Yang aspect, a rejection of projecting one's Feminine Principal. Breasts represent the Feminine Principal and any kind of deformity suggests difficulty in accepting that in one's self

Brain Tumour; A part of the brain is cut off. This represents an inability to compute; a dysfunction of logic and intuition. In Chinese Medicine, while the Heart houses the Mind, the Brain is seen as an Extraordinary Fu organ. In other words an empty sack, like the Stomach and Intestines for receiving raw materials from the outside world. The Brain is incapable of transforming raw data into anything useable without the connection and participation of the Heart. The data then just builds up and stagnates eventually resulting in a tumour. A lack of intimate connection between head and heart is indicated.

Palpitations; Palpitations represent the Fear that Love is fleeting. There is a lack of confidence, provoking Fear about one's ability to love. Fear that one's Love will be rebuffed.