Lemon with Salt in the Center of the Room will Change Your Life

by Georgia Lynn
Contributing Writer (RemedyDaily.com)

Put a lemon with salt on a plate, and then place in center of room. This hack will change your life

Life can sometimes become overwhelming, filled with stress and negativity. While there is no magic solution to all of life’s challenges, there are simple and natural methods that can help improve your environment and your mood.
One such method involves using a lemon and some salt. Surprisingly, this age-old trick can have a profound impact on your home and your life. In this article, we will explore how cutting a lemon into four slices with salt and placing them in the center of your room can bring about positive changes.

The Science Behind Lemon and Salt
To understand why this trick works, we need to explore the scientific principles behind the use of lemons and salt to improve the environment:

Lemon’s Antiseptic and Antibacterial Properties:
Lemons are well-known for their natural antibacterial and antiseptic properties, primarily due to their high acidity and the presence of compounds like citric acid and limonene. When lemon slices are placed in a room, they release these compounds into the air, effectively reducing the number of harmful bacteria and microbes present.

Lemon’s Aromatherapeutic Benefits:
The scent of lemon is more than just pleasant; it has been scientifically proven to have mood-enhancing and stress-reducing effects. The aroma of lemon can stimulate the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter associated with feelings of happiness and well-being. This, in turn, can help reduce stress and anxiety, promoting a more relaxed and positive atmosphere in your home.

Salt’s Ability to Absorb Negative Ions:
Salt has a unique property of being able to absorb negative ions from the surrounding environment. Negative ions are often associated with feelings of discomfort, stress, and lethargy. By placing salt on the lemon slices and dispersing it into the room, you create an environment where the salt absorbs these negative ions, leading to a more balanced and harmonious atmosphere.

Air Purification:
The combination of lemon and salt also acts as a natural air purifier. As the lemon slices release their pleasant fragrance, they effectively mask unpleasant odors, making the room smell fresh and clean. Additionally, the antibacterial properties of lemon help in reducing airborne microbes and allergens.

The Simple Steps
To harness the benefits of this simple yet effective trick, follow these steps:

Step 1: Gather your materials
One fresh lemon
A small plate
A pinch of salt
A knife to cut the lemon
Step 2: Cut the lemon into four slices
Use the knife to cut the lemon into four equal slices. Be careful not to cut yourself, as lemons can be slippery.
Step 3: Sprinkle salt on the lemon slices
Take a pinch of salt and sprinkle it evenly on each lemon slice. The salt will help activate the lemon’s purifying properties.
Step 4: Place the lemon slices in the center of your room
Find a central location in your room and arrange the lemon slices on the plate. Ideally, this should be a spot where you spend a significant amount of time, such as the living room or bedroom.

The Benefits of Lemon and Salt

Improved Air Quality: Lemons are natural air purifiers. As they release their refreshing scent, they can help eliminate odors and create a more pleasant living environment.

Stress Reduction: The aroma of lemon is known for its calming and mood-enhancing properties. It can help reduce stress and anxiety, creating a more peaceful atmosphere.

Negative Energy Cleansing: Salt is believed to absorb negative energy and ions, making the room feel lighter and more positive. This can be especially beneficial if you’ve been feeling stressed or tense.

Enhanced Focus and Productivity: A clean and fresh environment can boost your concentration and productivity. When your surroundings are clutter-free and pleasant, you may find it easier to stay focused and motivated.

Simple natural remedies like cutting a lemon into four slices with salt and placing them in the center of your room can have a surprisingly positive impact on your life. This easy-to-implement trick can improve air quality, reduce stress, cleanse negative energy, and enhance your overall well-being. Give it a try and see how this ancient practice can bring a refreshing change to your living space and, subsequently, to your life. Remember, it’s often the simplest solutions that can make the most significant difference.

RemedyDaily.com does not give medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Protect Your Black Cat During the Halloween Season


Black Pet Safety this Halloween Season  (from PetMd)


“I wish it were mere myth. Though dogs are usually not the target of Halloween season pranksters, black cats have historically suffered abuse during this time of year.

When it happens, it’s usually at the hands of those who consider burning, hanging or otherwise torturing felines an appropriate form of “celebration.”

The cultural drive behind this gruesome activity hearkens back to the superstitions surrounding black cats as harbingers of evil. However, this modern twist on the classic smacks more of the psychopathic than it does the traditional fear-based behavior our ancestors engaged in.

Though black “Halloween”-style cats seem to be prized by these sadists, all cats should be considered potential prey for this seasonal attack. And it’s not just Halloween night, though that’s the day I always urge my cat-owning clients to be most on the alert. Cats have also been known to be victimized in the weeks leading up to the date.

Every year, the news media reports on these crimes against cats, most of which seem to be forgotten by the time the next season rolls around. So here’s where I offer you this advice:

If possible, keep all cats (especially black cats) indoors during the month of October –– especially at night, when most of the predation seems to occur.

Keep bright collars on your cats so it’s clear they are owned and loved. Believe it or not, even the most evil-minded of humans among us can muster the occasional bout of conscience.

Keep an eye out for suspicious behavior in your neighborhood, whether you own a cat or not. Now that fewer children engage in traditional trick-or-treating, the streets are emptier and quieter. Consider keeping a special neighborhood vigil on Halloween to protect your closest neighbors’ pets.

If you expect trick-or-treaters, keep all your pets indoors and well-contained. Whether they’re in crates or in a bedroom, make sure they are unable to run outside. This is a big risk during Halloween, when costumed invaders come a-knocking, causing stress for dogs and cats across the country.”

Dr. Patty Khuly

Energy & Information Update

Greetings Everyone,

Its been a long time! Many of you know that technology is not my favorite thing (I’d much rather be doing my work with people) so I forget to be consistent with it.  I have received many requests to reinstate my quarterly newsletters (I haven’t done them in quite a few years, however, you can find them in the archives).  I will likely provide them again in the future – in the meantime I will try to post more regularly here.  Channelings come through how they are meant to be but please feel free to email me the topics you would like to see here.

Following is an energetic channeling that just unexpectedly popped out of me this morning. Literally. I was doing something and heard “Get a pencil,” so I did (I have always written them with pencil when they come through – I have no idea why but it is how I am guided to do it):

It has been such a transitory time – for me, and everyone else. It has been exciting, horrendous, joyful, painful and completely transformative.  This energy has been happening in it’s various form(s) for years. It is ending.  Finally!  Not that its over but we have entered the phase where we actually see the work, the changes, the growth taking shape and making sense.  We are beginning to understand the process – past, present, and moving forward.  It is a new energy.  One that most are unfamiliar with.  We’ve learned so much the past several years – don’t put it aside as you venture forward in your path.  Listen to your heart, your soul – be honest with yourself.  There is only one you.  You are your own best friend so please remember to treat yourself that way.  Our future is brighter and energetically lighter than it has been.  So don’t be afraid to take the step(s) forward into the unknown.  You have what you need, you can learn what you don’t know – just move forward with honesty, integrity and compassion for yourself and for others.  You are supported.  Trust yourself… and enjoy the journey.

As always, if I can be of assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact me at 818/812-7025, omnasztra@aol.com or via website.

Much Love & Many Blessings….


Awareness. Recognition. Appreciation. Gratitude.

Good Morning everyone! Awareness. Recognition. Appreciation. Gratitude. Please practice these states of being daily. Far too often we are unaware of the many Blessings (tiny to very big) that we have in our lives. We don’t notice them or take them for granted. As humans we easily notice the problems, issues, things/situations we don’t have – please learn to notice the positive just as easily. I have been witness to lives changing completely with one unexpected event. I was reminded of this again today. You have more than you think. Allow yourselves to notice… please. 🙏💖🙏

The Current Energy

Many of my clients are feeling off balance, blocked, overwhelmed.  The energy is tough right now – there is no way around that.  It will pass but may take a little bit of time. We have moved into new energy but we haven’t physically caught up to it yet.  World events do not help – they pull in so much fear, anger, sadness and this is impacting everyone in many different ways.  Now is the time that you really have to take care of yourself spiritually, physically, mentally using whatever tools, methods, rituals you use. This needs to be done on a daily basis no matter how busy you are.  It does not have to be elaborate.  I am not going into detail on methods because everyone is different and has different beliefs and practices. Tend your own light and let it shine and guide you through this.  Many of you are in helping fields so think of the daily self-care as a parent putting the oxygen mask on first before helping their child.  Remember to Play, Love & Laugh!

Be Well, Be Blessed….
Peace & Love

If you wish to book a session, please send me an email from this website.

Update Regarding Newsletters

The Quarterly Newsletters will be resuming in the very near future.  In the interim, please follow me on Facebook as I do post daily.

With Gratitude, Light & Blessings…..


September 2011


Happy Fall Equinox to You!

This is a time of breakthroughs and transformation.  Are you pointed in the direction you would like to be?  If not, this is the time to adjust.

The energy of the past few months has been intense.  It has helped so many of us to really look at what is, and what isn’t, working in our lives.  People are looking at their lives, and deeply examining their hopes, dreams, and aspirations – noting the gaps, if any, between what their life “should” look like, and what it actually is.  These reflections have resulted in many releases, altering of paths, restructuring and rebalancing of energy.  There is a great deal of unexpected joy and turmoil in this journey.  It is both unnerving and exciting!  You may not be able to control many of the events, circumstances and people in your life, but you can control how they impact you and how you react.

At this time it is so important to be in a place of honesty and openness with yourself.  It is how you will get to where you want to go.  Wandering is fun but not very effective. Consciously choose your path, and your life.  Make it as beautiful, complicated, or simple as you would like it to be.  Please remember… you will move forward, one way or another.

How you choose to experience it is up to you.

As always, if I can help you, or be of service in any way – please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Be Blessed in your journey…

Lots of Light & Love,
Stacey Osder

Following is some information on the Autumnal Equinox, the 11-11-11 Crystal Skulls event in Los Angeles, Spiritual Cinema Circle, products by Sage Sirena, and Whole Person Magazine.


The Autumnal Equinox


The word equinox comes from the Latin words for “equal night.” The fall and spring equinoxes are the only days of the year in which the Sun crosses the celestial equator. From here on out, the temperatures begin to drop and the days start to get shorter.

The September Equinox Explained  (www.timeanddate.com/calendar/september-equinox.html)

The September equinox occurs at 09:04 (or 9:04am) Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) on September 23, 2011. It is also referred to as the autumnal or fall equinox in the northern hemisphere, as well as the spring or vernal equinox in the southern hemisphere (not to be confused with the March equinox). This is due to the seasonal contrasts between both hemispheres throughout the year.

What happens during the September equinox?

The sun crosses the celestial equator and moves southward in the northern hemisphere during the September equinox. The location on the earth where the sun is directly overhead at solar noon is known as the subsolar point. The subsolar point occurs on the equator during the September equinox and March equinox. At that time, the earth’s axis of rotation is perpendicular to the line connecting the centers of the earth and the sun. This is the time when many people believe that the earth experiences 12 hours of day and night. However, this is not exactly the case.

Dispelling the “exactly 12 hours of daylight” Myth:  During the equinox, the length of night and day across the world is nearly, but not entirely, equal. This is because the day is slightly longer in places that are further away from the equator, and because the sun takes longer to rise and set in these locations. Furthermore, the sun takes longer to rise and set farther from the equator because it does not set straight down – it moves in a horizontal direction.

The Autumnal Equinox in the northern hemisphere, has been linked to many myths and superstitions in history. It is a time of the year when festivals and celebrations of different faiths occur around the world.

According to myth, it is believed that the September equinox is a time of balance when “day and night are equal” and that by some mystical force one can balance eggs on their end on these days. Some believe that one can only balance an egg within a few hours before or after the exact time of the equinox.

According to Jewish superstition, when Abraham prepared to sacrifice Isaac at the autumnal equinox, and blood appeared on his knife. Another superstition relating to the four Tekufot, which refers to the equinoxes and solstices, is that during the September equinox a mysterious precipitation poisoned all water, which was not be drawn or drunk.

In many cultures, the September equinox is a sign of autumn in the northern hemisphere. In Greek mythology autumn begins as the goddess Persephone returns to the underworld to live with her husband Hades. It has also been believed that magically it was a good time to enact rituals for protection and security as well as reflect on successes or failures from the previous months. Animals associated with the autumnal equinox in the northern hemisphere are dogs, wolves and birds of prey. Mythical creatures associated with this time of the year include gnomes, minotaurs and the sphinx.

Higan, or Higan-e, is a week of Buddhist services observed in Japan during both the September and March equinoxes when day and night are equal at length. Both equinoxes have been national holidays since the Meiji period (1868-1912). Before World War II, they were known as koreisai, or festivals of the Imperial ancestors. After the war, when the national holidays were renamed, they became simply spring and autumn equinoxes. Higan means the “other shore” and refers to the spirits of the dead reaching Nirvana after crossing the river of existence. It celebrates the spiritual move from the world of suffering to the world of enlightenment and is a time to remember the dead by visiting, cleaning and decorating their graves and reciting sutras. Buddhist prayers, rice balls and sushi are offered. It is a time for the Japanese to worship their imperial ancestors.

The Christian church replaced many early pagan equinox celebrations with Christianized observances over the years. For example, Michaelmas (also known as the Feast of Michael and All Angels), on September 29, fell near the September equinox because it was associated with the beginning of autumn. During the middle ages it was celebrated as a holy day of obligation but the tradition waned in the 18th century. It is still celebrated in some places as the “festival of strong will” during the autumnal equinox.

On the autumnal equinox, many pagans celebrate Mabon as one of the eight Sabbats (a celebration based on the cycles of the sun). Mabon celebrates the second harvest and the beginning of winter preparations. It is the time to respect the impending dark while giving thanks to the sunlight.

In China the Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival, is celebrated around (but not precisely) the time of the September equinox. This occasion dates back more than 3000 years and occurs around the time of the full moon. It celebrates the abundance of the summer’s harvest and one of the main foods is the mooncake filled with lotus, sesame seeds, a duck egg or dried fruit. This tradition originated from the ancient tradition of making offerings to the sun in the spring and to the moon in the autumn. It is also a time for families to get together and people often travel long distances to be with their loved ones. The streets are decorated with lanterns, incenses are burned and fire dragon dances take place.

 11-11-11 Crystal Skulls Event in Los Angeles:


Eleven is the master number that reflects the transformation of the physical into the Divine. During the eleventh year of this new millennium, on November 11, 2011 or 11-11-11, we are being called to a higher service of Light on behalf of Humanity and All Life evolving on Mother Earth.                –  Kendall Ray Morgan

Registration is now open for the
Crystal Skulls World Mysteries
Gateway in L.A. Event

November 11, 12, 13, 2011
Sheraton Gateway Hotel
6101 W. Century Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90045

THE LEGEND OF THE 13 SACRED CRYSTAL SKULLS prophesizes that at a time of great crisis for all humanity and planet earth, the sacred crystal skulls will come together to reveal information vital to the very survival of the human race.

The Time is Now!

At the 11-11-11 Crystal Skulls World Mysteries Gateway Event, thirteen ancient crystal skulls will be present with many newer crystal skulls. There will be a Mystery Skull unveiled at the event.

The Event will cover two days of speakers including ancient crystal skull guardians with their skulls, Mayan Elders and Crystal Skull Researchers plus prayers, ceremony, music and celebration. On November 13, you will have an opportunity to have breakout sessions and private sessions with individual crystal skulls that you resonate with.

The ancient crystal skulls contain information about the past history of our planet and the future of mankind. Synergistically they create a vortex that activates human consciousness revealing greater perceptions of reality. They are the manifestation of spirit in form now helping to shift the magnetic frequency of the earth.

Along with our regular program speakers and presenters, Oracle Stone Productions is humbly honored to present and welcome 13 members of the Maya Itza Council of Priests and Elders from Yucatan, Mexico and other spiritual leaders who will be joining us at this 11.11.11 Crystal Skulls World Mysteries Gateway Event.

This year’s 11-11-11 Gateway in Los Angeles Event will be setting the foundations for the Maya Itza New Age starting in 2012.

This is the only place on earth this year where so many ancient crystal skulls and Mayan Elders will come together. If you see yourself as a part of the consciousness shift taking place on this planet, it is time to be at this event.

Spiritual Cinema Circle (www.spiritualcinemacircle.com) is the home of uplifting stories that inspire love and compassion, films that connect us with the world around us.  Many visionary, inspirational films are made every year but never get into the theaters. Independent, spiritual filmmakers are creating inspirational movies with heart and soul, spiritual movies that really matter.  Until now, though, hardly anybody got to see them.  Each month, Spiritual Cinema Circle sends its members a new DVD with four wonderful, spiritual films that will enlighten and inspire your soul. The movies are a mixture of features, shorts and documentaries.

Sage Sirena offers wonderful soaps, candles, incense, bath salts & amulets for love, prosperity & protection.  For more information, please contact her directly at (415) 513-0921 or lostsongbird@yahoo.com.  You can also follow on twitter at: www.twitter.com/sagesirena.

The Whole Person Calendar (www.wholepersoncalendar.com ) is a Southern California magazine and website that overs holistic activities throughout Southern California, and is devoted to supporting activities and events that promote health, green lifestyles and spiritual/emotional well-being.

Lastly, I am finally  in the process of redoing my website. Is there something you would like to see included on it, or in my newsletters?  Let me know….

 As it is highly unlikely that I will be sending another newsletter before the end of the year,  and the holidays are coming, I wanted to remind you that gift certificates are available.  Many of you have expressed your delight at having that gift option available.  Have a Happy Holiday Season!

June 2011


We have made it to June!  Yay!  So many of you have shared with me what a rough time you have had the past few months.  After what appeared to be forward movement in your lives, growth, and endeavors – it seemed as if you became inexplicably stuck, turned around, or thwarted.  I believe this has been part of the adjustment and transition phase of this new growth process.  I am really happy to tell you that the doorway that we have been moving towards is open, and people are finally beginning to step through it.  We are not waiting for it to open any longer – it is open.  And now is the process of moving through it. Will it happen in the timeframe we would like – well, probably not.  Will it happen – yes!  Will it happen soon (whatever that means) – yes!

You have learned a lot the last several months, and years.  We are moving towards, and are in, a different time.  Utilize what you have learned.  Adjust your inner thoughts, dreams, beliefs accordingly – do they reflect who you are now, and where you would like to go, or are they holding the energy of who and what you were?  It is an important, often overlooked, inner adjustment.  Our thoughts, aspirations and beliefs can become a habit that is fiercely held on to because it is what we know.  But, everything is fluid, and with new information and insights, dreams, beliefs and thought patterns can change.

Move forward with confidence, and hope.  You are on your path, and it is filled with light.

As always, if I can help you, or be of service in any way – please don’t hesitate to contact me.

With Blessings & Love,
Stacey Osder


Following are some little tidbits for you…….


f you are in the Los Angeles area… the Contemporary Crafts Market/Art Show is going on this weekend (Friday-Sunday) at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium.  If you are interested, please visit the website at www.CraftSource.org.  Free admission passes for two are also available on the site.


I am now on Twitter!  Follow me at: @Omnasztra


Beliefnet (www.beliefnet.com) offers a website full of a variety of articles, blogs, videos – everything you could think of – about inspiration, spirituality, faith, health, entertainment, holistic living, and more.  There is also a “Belief-O-Matic” quiz to tell you what “religion, if any, you practice.. or ought to be practicing” (there is of course, a disclaimer that they”assume no legal liability for the ultimate fate of your soul”).  It is a good site with tons of good, and sometimes fun, information.  Definitely worth exploring.   



Spirituality & Health: The Soul/Body Connection

An online, and bi-monthly print magazine, that “reports on the people, the practices, and the ideas of the current spiritual renaissance; We offer self-tests, guidance on spiritual practices; reviews of the latest resources for people on spiritual journeys; inspiration and insights from leading teachers, researchers, and practitioners; and a forum for the active exchange of ideas among various disciplines and communities. ….
We are open to all points of view on spiritual questions, drawing on the world’s wisdom traditions as well as science, psychology, sociology and medicine.”   Also worth checking out.



“Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behaviors.  Keep your behaviors positive because your behaviors become your habits. Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values.   Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny.”

~ Mohandas K. Gandhi ~

March 2011


I originally began this newsletter 2-3 weeks ago when the channeled information came through, but I got distracted and did not pull the information together to send out when I had intended.   Everything happens for a reason.  As I was pulling the newsletter together last night, and reviewing what had been written to determine if it still applied (it does), the following came through to be added:

The earth is talking.  Are you listening?  Be kind to our beautiful and hurting planet, to yourselves, and to those you come in contact with.  Our brothers and sisters in Japan, and their concerned loved ones, need our hope and our prayers.  Each and every one of you has a light within that shines out – please let it shine bright – you never know who or what your ray of light may touch or illuminate.  People are hurting, and scared.  It is being asked that you remember to care, and send a hope, a thought, a prayer.  We are all connected, in so many ways.   (Please note that the flow of information abruptly cut off here.)

Following is the original information that was given:

Welcome to 2011.  I hope this newsletter finds you well.  We made it through the end of the year, the step into the new year, and have begun to understand, and move through, the often “rough” changes that have accompanied this.  I am pleased to tell you that, although some of you may not feel like it, you are doing it.  Things are changing, and moving.  Its just that sometimes, while releasing the old, it is painful, i.e.. it hurts, is frightening, overwhelming, frustrating, etc. This is the time to face forward and utilize the skills and knowledge you have been learning and implementing, such as mindfulness of your thought patterns, meditation, prayer, release work, affirming work, ceremony/ritual, smiling, laughter, and involvement in the positive activities and behaviors that help you feel better.  You may need help with this – if so, seek the help of a holistic health practitioner (not in place of an MD if medical attention is needed), spiritual/religious mentor, counselor, or healer.  Remember to interact with loved ones and people/activities you enjoy.  No one has complete control over their environment and interactions, but (and this is a big ‘but’) each of us does have control over how we balance the unwanted aspects of our daily lives with the positive.  On a regular basis, are you allowing/helping the “dirty waters” of your cup to be released?  Are you allowing this same cup to be filled with clean/light water on the same regular basis?  They cannot coexist.

There are annual occurrences that can provide added energy to your journey, such as the Phases of the Moon (full, new, waxing, waning);  Solstices (there are two per year – summer and winter); Equinoxes (2 per year – spring & fall).  If these events speak to you – utilize their energy.  It is said that the most powerful days of the year, bringing about the most grace & blessings, are the Solstices and Equinoxes.  This year’s Spring Equinox will be Sunday, March 20th.

I know that on many levels  it has been a really difficult transition into 2011.  I believe that the energies will begin to lighten mid-to-late March.  Please remember that you, and the universe, are clearing the way for better experiences, for your hopes and dreams to be able to manifest.  Continue doing your “work,” but don’t forget to do the things that make you happy, bring a smile to your face, or contentment to you heart.  Even if these moments seem to be fleeting – if you allow them to surface, they will be more frequent, and can truly get you through a “bad’ day.

Below you will find information on solstices, equinoxes, the moon, number sequences, chakras, a couple writings, and a few web sites.     As always, if I can help you, or be of service in any way – please don’t hesitate to contact me.

With Blessings & Love,

Stacey Osder


When Does Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter Begin?

from “The Old Farmer’s Almanac (www.almanac.com/content/first-day-seasons#chart)

See the chart below to see when seasons begin for 2011 —namely, the spring equinox, the summer solstice, the fall equinox, and the winter solstice.

The four seasons are determined by changing sunlight (not heat!)—which is determined by how our planet orbits the Sun and the tilt of its axis.

  • At the start of spring—the vernal equinox—day and night are each approximately 12 hours long (with the actual time of equal day and night, in the Northern Hemisphere, occurring a few days before the vernal equinox). The Sun crosses the celestial equator going northward; it rises exactly due east and sets exactly due west.
  • At the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, the Sun reaches its most northern point in the sky at local noon. After this date, the days start getting shorter.
  • Fall begins at the autumnal equinox. Day and night are each about 12 hours long (with the actual time of equal day and night, in the Northern Hemisphere, occurring a few days after the autumnal equinox). The Sun crosses the celestial equator going southward; it rises exactly due east and sets exactly due west.
  • The start of winter begins with the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, when the Sun reaches its most southern point in the sky at local noon. After this date, the days start getting longer.


Seasons of 2011:

Spring Equinox

March 20, 7:21 P.M. EDT

Summer Solstice

June 21, 1:16 P.M. EDT

Fall Equinox

September 23, 5:05 A.M. EDT

Winter Solstice

December 22, 12:30 A.M. EST


Credit: NASA


 For extensive moon information, including a moon schedule, full moon calendar, current moon phases, etc.  please visit :  www.fullmooncalendar.net


Quote~    “What true patience is, is knowing that you want it and knowing that it’s coming and actually enjoying the unfolding along the way. Understand that you never get it done. So you might as well be patient. You never get it done, because every time you want and receive, you also receive a new perspective from which to want. Life is a constant unfolding of new desires and then a constant alignment to those desires. ”

Jerry and Esther Hicks/dailyquote@abraham-hicks.com


Have you heard about KIVA?  It is my new favorite thing.  Kiva is an amazing non-profit organization, with a world-wide community,  that is dedicated to combating poverty.  Kiva allows you to make small loans to entrepreneurs on five continents, leveraging just $25, to change a life.  Please visit their site at www.Kiva.org for more information.   


Samadhi Life – Living Inspired at www.samadhilife.com/index.html is a web site that is definitely worth checking out.  They describe themselves as follows:  “Our Mission:  Samadhi Life exists to provide resources and community for people as they connect and journey through cycles of spiritual growth and evolution.”  This is a great web site offering Integrated Services, Inspired Products, and Resources. 



Interested in Chakras?    Visit www.eclecticenergies.com/chakras for information about Chakras, working with the Chakras, and to take a test to find out about the state of your Chakras.  This web site also offers information about Acupressure, Energy Exercises, Mudras, Enneagram, I Ching, and The Ego & the Unconscious.


Many of you ask about seeing number sequences repeatedly, and their meanings.  Following is an excerpt from About.com Guide ( January 21, 2010), and addresses this question.  The author is Eileen Smith, Angel Intuitive.  She states that “… It really is, to simply put it, the calling card of the Higher Realms.  …  The numbers you keep seeing are a code that signals your ancient DNA, your cellular memory and your higher consciousness to awaken. To awaken to a phase, a more spiritual space in your heart and mind and within your life.   When I see these numbers, or when my clients do, I tell them to take a moment, breathe in deeply and say “I am ready to receive.” Here are some of the more common numbers seen and what many intuitives and healers feel they mean:

  • 10:10 is the Alpha-Omega number. The number of beginnings and endings, it is full of promise, and of opening to the “Compassionate Heart.”
  • 11:11 means “the Gateway”, it’s the doorway to your evolving self, your place within the current ascension of the planet.
  • 12:12 is the number when the Higher Realms wants to download into your consciousness new ways of being a human being and experiencing life on Earth. It is like the switch, turned on for you to step into your Divine Path to be of service for humanity and every living thing on the planet.
  • 333 is the Christ Consciousness number, and not anything to fear. It is a sign that you are being blessed and the high holy beings are directly overseeing your life or something in your life at this time.
  • 111 is a manifestation number. It means you are in a moment where you can create for your life. Be sure your thoughts are very positive.
  • 444 is an angelic realm number for prosperity and abundance.
  • 555 is the number of creating positive change and forward movement.
  • 777 is a very high spiritual number that signifies teaching or learning a more spiritually conscious way of thinking and being.   “


A Parable Worth Sharing ~

Recently, I was working with a client, and an old story came to mind.  In case you have not heard it, I wanted to share it with you:  

There was a big flood, and the water around a man’s house was rising steadily.
The man was standing on the porch, watching water rise, when a man in a boat came along and called to him, “Get in the boat and I’ll get you out of here.”

The man replied, “No thanks, God will save me.”
The man went into the house, and the water starting pouring in. So, he went up to the second floor.
As he looked out, another man in a boat came along, and he called to him, “Get in the boat and I’ll get you out of here.”
Again, the man replied, “No thanks. God will save me.”
The water kept rising. So, the man got out onto the roof.
A helicopter flew over, and the pilot called down to the man, “I’ll drop you a rope, grab it, and I’ll get you out of here.”
Again the man replied, “No thanks. God will save me.”
The water continued to rise, and soon covered the whole house. The man fell in, and drowned.
When he arrived in Heaven, he saw God, and asked Him, “Why didn’t you save me from that terrible flood?”
God replied, “I sent people in two boats and a helicopter. I tried to save you but you wouldn’t let me.  What did you expect?”

November 2010

“No problem can be solved from the same consciousness that created it.” 

– Albert Einstein



It has been a strange year for many – very unpredictable, transitional, and emotional. Definitely a year of letting go, and of new beginnings.  I usually send the last newsletter of the year closer to the Winter Solstice or the New Year, but this year it seemed more appropriate to touch base with you near Thanksgiving. 

During unknown or challenging times, it is important to remember what you are thankful for – and sometimes you may be so overwhelmed or frightened that it can be very difficult.  However, if you allow yourself to be still for a minute – you will be able to find something that you are thankful for.  It may be a situation, a person, a quality within yourself, a beloved pet, an enjoyable hobby, a sunrise or sunset, a flower, etc.  It may be that you are grateful you made it through another day.  Gratitude can be big or small – it doesn’t matter – what matters is allowing yourself to recognize it, acknowledge it, and feel it’s warmth.

Regularly noticing the things in your life which make you feel thankful (and they can change daily) reminds you to be open and hopeful.  Positive thought really does build upon itself, just as negative thought does.  They also do coexist.  The beauty of it (which we often forget) is  that you can always, at any time, make an adjustment by bringing light into your thoughts.  And, yes, some days this is harder to do than others.

Although 2010 was described as a challenging year by many, it has been a year in which shifts have begun.  Many individuals have begun, or are beginning, to see the changes in their lives.  Things may not be where you had hoped they would be at this time, but more often than not, if you step back, you will be able to see the progress on yourself, your life, etc.  The progress may look/feel like baby steps, or great strides,  but either way the steps are leading you forward and you are taking them! 

2011 promises to be a different year.  It is a less transitional year, and more of a year in which people will see some concrete changes (these will vary with each individual, and with the amount of effort you have been putting into your necessary changes and desired goals the past few years).  It should be an easier, lighter year with more births, less deaths.  It is a more positive and settled year.  When I ‘look’ at it – I see a beautiful little pink flower just coming up out of the earth in the morning sun.  I am so happy to be able to tell you this!

I know that for many of you the changes and opportunities that were presented to you this year came in surprising ways.  The energy shifts have resembled a roller coaster ride complete with tunnels.  Congratulations on adapting to the twists and turns.  As you look back on this year, remember to think about all the things you learned, and to be thankful for the knowledge that you now possess, and can use in a variety of situations.

Below you will find some articles having to do with wellness, a few local holistic recommendations, some links to sites offering unique and meaningful gifts for yourself or someone else, a good excerpt on meditation, and a poem.  

I am so thankful and blessed to have crossed paths with each and every one of you.  Have a Splendid Holiday Season!   As always, I am available to support and encourage you on your path to well-being and wholeness ~ please don’t hesitate to contact me.  

Be Well, Be Thankful. Be Love…

In Peace & Gratitude,

Stacey Osder


Natural Allergy Relief – Allergy Treatment Without Medication  by Corey Binns 

Itchy eyes, runny nose, sneezing and coughing are all signs that allergy season has arrived, and it’s hitting harder than ever, with experts predicting this will be the worst allergy season in a decade. While many sufferers typically reach for an arsenal of over-the-counter or prescription medications to fend off symptoms, others may be bothered by the potential side effects or unable to take some due to certain medical conditions. The good news is you may be able to treat your worst allergy symptoms without medication.

Supplements and lifestyle strategies may promise relief. But be sure to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements, as they may interact with other medications you’re taking, says Roberta Lee, M.D., vice chair of the Department of Integrative Medicine at Beth Israel Medical Center and author of “The Superstress Solution.” In addition, read the box for the appropriate dosage and take according to the directions or as instructed by your doctor.

Watch the Clock

To keep pesky pollen, grass and other allergens at bay, keep your windows closed in the morning and at dusk, when allergens are at their peak. Avoid exercising during those times, as well.  “If you’re running at that time of day, you’re basically inoculating yourself,” says Lee. Take a shower after being outside to scrub off pollen and other allergens. Same goes for Fido. Give your pets a good washing so they’re not dragging pollen into the house.

Neti Pot

The fewer allergens you have in your system, the less you’ll sneeze and sniffle. Take a deep breath outside, however, and you’ll inhale pollen and other allergens that stick to your mucus membranes. That’s where a Neti Pot comes in handy. The hypertonic saline wash can flush out these allergens in your nasal passages.   “Pre-made nasal irrigation solutions found at the drugstore are perfectly fine to use,” says Lee.  She recommends using the Neti Pot twice a day.


This ingredient, found in many spicy foods, comes from the chili pepper plant and can act as a pain reliever. It may also clear up your congestion. An over-the-counter nasal spray for allergies, called Sinol, uses capsaicin.   “The spray has an apparent effect on nasal membranes to reduce irritation by allergens such as pollens,” says Clifford Bassett, M.D., a member of the faculty at New York University School of Medicine and assistant clinical professor of medicine at the Long Island College Hospital SUNY at Brooklyn.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Oily fish, green leafy vegetables, flax seed and hemp seed are all rich in omega-3.  “The trouble is most people don’t get enough in their diet,” says Lee. “I prescribe omega-3 for general health as an anti-inflammatory.”  This can help reduce inflammation, which amplifies an allergic response. Lee recommends eating oily fish such as salmon, tuna, herring and sardines once or twice a week. If you’re not a fish eater, take one to three grams of omega-3 fatty acids from supplements each day.

Vitamin D

Found in sunlight and naturally occurring in some foods, such as egg yolks, herring and cod liver oil, vitamin D is vital to protecting muscle strength as we age and in preventing cancer, diabetes and autoimmune diseases and may offer asthma and allergy protection. Ask your doctor to check your vitamin D levels. Lee recommends taking 2,000 international units of vitamin D3 a day if they’re low. Or, if it’s a warm, sunny day, expose one third of your body to the sunshine for 10 minutes.

Ginger and Turmeric

Your spice cupboard is home to a host of tasty allergy remedies.  “Get involved in your senses and enjoy spices that inadvertently make your food healthier,” says Lee.  Both tumeric and ginger are powerful anti-inflammatories that may help reduce nasal and sinus inflammation. And unlike medications, they are also high in antioxidants. Lee says you can reduce inflammation and add more vitamins to your diet all at once by drinking two to three cups of ginger tea a day or cooking with two to four grams of tumeric a day.  “It’s kind of like getting two medicines in one.”

Stinging Nettle and Quercetin

Your body’s mast cells are filled with chemicals that cause inflammation. Exposure to an allergen can cause the mast cell to rupture, releasing chemicals that start an allergic reaction. Stinging nettle and quercetin are anti-inflammatory supplements that can act as mast cell stabilizers. Lee recommends taking two to four capsules of stinging nettle every four to six hours. Quercetin works like a natural Benadryl, Lee says. Take 500 mg twice a day.


This herbal supplement avoids the chain reaction of an allergy attack and decreases swelling.  “It helps with itchy eyes, swelling in your nose and coughing.”   She recommends taking about 50 mg twice a day.


This ancient medical practice can alleviate many allergy symptoms. But, Lee cautions, you should find an acupuncturist who has trained for at least four years. Lee says you may want to visit an acupuncturist as often as twice a week when your symptoms are at their worst. During the winter when allergies subside, you may not need to see someone at all.

Reduce Stress

Pollen isn’t the only thing that makes a bad allergy season. Chronic stress can contribute.   “People with asthma have far worse asthma when they’re stressed,” says Lee.  Allergies are similar. To alleviate stress, Lee recommends an anti-inflammatory diet and deep breathing exercises.


Drinking Water At The Correct Time

Maximizes its Effectiveness On the Human Body

– 2 glasses of water after waking up –  helps activate internal organs
– 1 glass of water 30 minutes before a meal – helps digestion
– 1 glass of water before taking a bath – helps lower blood pressure
–  1 glass of water before going to bed – avoids stroke or heart attack



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 

Olive leaf is the leaf of the olive tree (Olea europaea). While olive oil is well known for its flavor and health benefits, the leaf has been used medicinally in various times and places. Natural olive leaf and olive leaf extracts are now marketed as anti-aging, immunostimulators, and even antibiotics. Clinical evidence has proven the blood pressure lowering effects of carefully extracted olive leaf extracts.  Bioassays support its antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory effects at a laboratory level. A liquid extract made directly from fresh olive leaves recently gained international attention when it was shown to have an antioxidant capacity almost double green tea extract and 400% higher than vitamin C.   continued…. (see website – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olive_leaf)

Information also available at:  http://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-olive-leaf.html ,  http://health.learninginfo.org/herbs/olive-leaf-extract.htm




1. Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.

2. Feeling tired in the afternoon, put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good source of B Vitamins and Carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours.

3. Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower? Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror, it will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.

4. Are grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds? Place a few slices in a small pie tin and your garden will be free of pests all season long. The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent undetectable to humans but drive garden pests crazy and make them flee the area.

5 Looking for a fast and easy way to remove cellulite before going out or to the pool? Try rubbing a slice or two of cucumbers along your problem area for a few minutes, the phytochemicals in the cucumber cause the collagen in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing the visibility of cellulite. Works great on wrinkles too!!!

6.. Want to avoid a hangover or terrible headache? Eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body lost, keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a hangover and headache!!

7. Looking to fight off that afternoon or evening snacking binge? Cucumbers have been used for centuries and often used by European trappers, traders and explores for quick meals to thwart off starvation.

8. Have an important meeting or job interview and you realize that you don’t have enough time to polish your shoes? Rub a freshly cut cucumber over the shoe, its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also repels water.

9. Out of WD 40 and need to fix a squeaky hinge? Take a cucumber slice and rub it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is gone!

10. Stressed out and don’t have time for massage, facial or visit to the spa? Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water, the chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber with react with the boiling water and be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown the reduce stress in new mothers and college students during final exams.

11. Just finish a business lunch and realize you don’t have gum or mints? Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath, the phytochemcials will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.

12. Looking for a ‘green’ way to clean your faucets, sinks or stainless steel? Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean, not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but is won’t leave streaks and won’t harm you fingers or fingernails while you clean.

13. Using a pen and made a mistake? Take the outside of the cucumber and slowly use it to erase the pen writing, also works great on crayons and markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls!!


The Dash by Linda EllisThe Dash movie launched Simple Truths into the limelight, and has been viewed over 30 million times. See what everyone has been watching, and check out our blog for inspirational videos and articles, http://blog.simpletruths.com, and click on the link to receive a FREE newsletter! http://www.thedashmovie.com/land.html

© 2010 YouTube, LLC
901 Cherry Ave, San Bruno, CA 94066




Holistic Recommendations:

Barbara Donoghue, CMT, offers incredible massage sessions that incorporate a combination of modalities including Swedish and Deep Tissue, Shiatsu and Pressure Point Therapy, Stretching, CranioSacral Therapy, and Energywork. Pregnancy massage is also available.  Call 323/252-8553 for more information, and to schedule an appointment in your home or office.  You will love it!

Dr. David Bond (Doctor of Chiropractic, Qualified Medical Evaluator, Diplomate in Homeopathy, Diplomate in Pain Management, Qi Gong instructor) is skilled in deep tissue, trigger point release, myofasical release and neuromuscular reeducation techniques as well as traditional and non-force chiropractic techniques. Dr. Bond also incorporates nutritional therapies, detoxification protocols and energy medicine.  For more information, visit www.essentialchiropracticcenter.com  or Call 818/501-8743 to schedule an appointment in either Sherman Oaks or Woodland Hills.  He is the best! 

Herbs of Hope Inc./Rev. Dr. Damir de Balkany M.C.CMaster Herbalist – Radiesthetist.  Offering Testing & Consultation.  Located in Ventura, CA (46 S. California Street #9, Ventura, CA 93001).  Call 805/652-1658 for further information.  His work is remarkable!



Fortune Sitole, Artist:  Unique and remarkable art.  Description: “current pieces that “assemble mixed media to create townships of South Africa, showing every day life – playing ball, jumping rope, walking to school, washing, music and dancing. I use wood, sand, aluminum, oil and acrylic paint, sticks, bottle caps and other objects. I use all recycled materials and my work has been categorized as Folk Art, Raw Art, Township Art and Green Art. Townships in South Africa are slowly disappearing and my work documents their history…. Fashioning my work as homage to my ancestors, family and community, these pieces are a reminder of the day-to-day life in black South African townships. But shanties exist throughout the world and my art actually tells a story of the universality of poverty…  The characters in my scenes are about communities who have overcome adversity and have progressed into the 21st century.”   Fortune’s Website:  www.fortunesgallery.com

Josephine Wall, Artist: This artist’s creative output includes painting, pottery figures, sculpture, stained glass, and customized items of clothing.  She states that “Much of the inspiration for her mystical images comes from her close observation of nature and her interest in its preservation. Though she often strives to impart a message in her scenes, she also hopes to inspire in her audience a personal journey into the magical world of their own imagination.”  Please visit her website at: www.josephinewall.co.uk to see her work, and learn more.

Plein Air Life – Handmade Lip Balm, Lotions, and Skincare:  This company offers an incredible line of handmade products utilizing the freshest ingredients.  Products include handmade soap, candles, scrubs, lotions, body sprays, lip balms, lip colors, body balms, essential oils & fragrance oils.  They are located in Laguna, CA but their products can be purchased online.  For more information, visit their site at:  www.pleinairlife.com 

The Crystal Matrix Center  in  Los Angeles offers a wide selection of crystals, minerals, classes,  workshops, and holipathic treatments.  Please visit their site for more information:  


BALI MALAS offers spiritual jewelry, created by Aum Rudraksha Designs, all comprised of the rudraksha bead.  Rudraksha beads are a symbol of compassion for humanity, a reminder of the present.  Please visit their website at:  www.balimalas.com

Juliette Campbell Jewelry is hand-made in New York City.  All  the stones are natural and of the highest quality available.  Each piece is one-of-a-kind and created to be worn as an everyday talisman to bring peace, happiness and good health into your life.  The website shows her pieces, and provides explanations of symbols and stones:  www.juliettecampbelljewelry.com


Excerpt from “Broken Open” by Elizabeth Lesser

(p. 282-290)


Since I have studied a variety of meditation practices, from teachers and cultures all over the world, one might think I have a highly ritualized and complicated meditation practice.  But actually my practice is simple.  While it is surely informed by all of my study and experiences, I would be mocking the real meaning of meditation if I represented it as an exotic journey.  Immersion into many forms of meditation has led me deeper and deeper into the most essential core of all of them: mindfulness – a nondenominational form of practice that teaches moment-to-moment awareness, a kind of falling in love with naked reality.

While books and tapes are good introductions to mindfulness meditation, I believe that they are not a powerful as working with a teacher or a group – what is called in the East a sangha, or a community of seekers.  A teacher or a sangha keeps us on track, inspires us, and answers questions along the way.  If meditation is something that appeals to you, I suggest participating in a weekend retreat or workshop in your area or at a retreat center.  Many community churches or yoga centers have weekly meditation groups.  The following instructions are meant to help you begin meditating, or to revive a stalled routine.

Chögyam Trungpa was one of my first meditation teachers.  He taught meditation as a twofold process: first, as a way to access stability and dignity in the midst of any situation; and second, as a way to wake up, as if from a dream, into vibrant and genuine aliveness.  Trungpa believed that at the core of life was what he called “basic goodness,” and that each one of us is basically good, and more than that, wonderfully noble.  “You can transcend your embarrassment,” he said, “and take pride in being a human being.”  Trungpa stressed good posture in sitting meditation practice as a way of demonstrating our basic goodness.  He said that keeping a straight back is a way to overcome our embarrassment at being a human being.  He often used the image of riding a horse when he taught meditation posture.  Sitting tall in the saddle tells the horse that you are the master.  Sitting tall on the meditation cushion or in a chair tells your mind and body that you are the master.  Sitting upright in the saddle tells the world that you believe in yourself.

Posture in meditation does not refer only to a straight back.  Posture includes the whole body.  The body and mind are inseparable in meditation, and a relaxed and energetic body creates a beneficial base for meditation practice.  Trungpa said that by working with posture in meditation, “you begin to feel that by simply being on the spot, your life can become workable and even wonderful.  You realize that you are capable of sitting like a king or a queen on your horse.  The regalness of that situation shows you the dignity that comes from being still and simple.”

I use Trungpa’s checklist of six body parts -seat, legs, torso, hands, eyes, mouth- as I sit down and assume a meditative posture.  I elaborate here on each point:

1. Seat: It is best to sit on a firm pillow on the floor or on a firm-seated chair. If you use a chair, sot forward to that your back does not touch the back of the chair.

2. Legs: If you sit on a pillow, cross your legs comfortably in front of you, with your knees resting on the floor if they can.  If you sit in a chair, put your feet flat on the floor, knees and feet hip width apart.

3. Torso: Keep your back comfortably straight, your chest open, and your shoulders relaxed. Philip Kapleau Roshi, the first Zen teacher I studied with, writes, “If you are accustomed to letting the chest sink, it does require a conscious effort to keep it up in the beginning. When it becomes natural to walk and sit with the chest open, you begin to realize the many benefits of this ideal posture. The lungs are given additional space in which to expand, thus filling and stretching the air sacs. This in turn permits a greater intake of oxygen and washes the bloodstream, which carries away fatigue accumulated in the body.”

A straight back and soft shoulders is a natural position. It does not have to feel forced or painful. In fact, after time, meditation breeds a sense of overall comfort. But often when we start to meditate, assuming a straight back makes us suddenly aware of discomfort in the body. This is why many people who meditate also practice yoga, or another form of physical exercise that strengthens and stretches the body.

One of the best ways to maintain a straight back and open chest in meditation is to repeat silently a phrase whenever you feel physical pain. For example, if you feel yourself tensing your shoulders as you hold your back straight during meditation, you can inwardly whisper to yourself, “soften, soften,” or “open, open.”

A straight back, open heart, and relaxed body will help your meditation practice immeasurably. A straight back will lead to dignity and courage. An open chest will nurture acceptance of life. A relaxed body will remind you to go easy on yourself, to treat your meditation practice as a gift instead of a chore.

4. Hands: Sometimes, when meditation gets very quiet, our concentration coagulates in the hands. It sounds strange, but you may experience this yourself. It’s not uncommon, as your exhalation dissolves outward, to feel as if all that is left of your body is your hands. Therefore, it is good to position your hands in a way that is both grounding and meaningful. You will notice in statues from a variety of religious traditions that the deities or saints hold their hands in intentional ways. These hand positions are called mudras in the Tantric Buddhist tradition – physical gestures that help evoke certain states of mind.

One frequently seen position is the forefinger lightly touching the thumb and the other three fingers flexed outward. Another common mudra is one hand resting in the palm of the other, thumbs touching. Many people like to meditate with their hands in the Christian prayer position of palms together, fingers pointing up. Some people meditate with their hands simply resting, palms down or upward, on their knees.

Each mudra evokes a specific quality that you can experience yourself merely by experimenting with them. For example, resting the palms upward on the knees indicates receptivity-openness to whatever comes your way. Hands placed downward on the knees produce a grounded feeling in the body, a sense of balance, and strength. My personal favorite hand position is where the thumb and index finger touch and create a circle. There is something about the thumb touching the finger that reminds me to be on the spot in my concentration, yet delicately so. I gently extend the other three fingers and rest my hands on my knees. This position keeps me steady and balanced. I attach the words on the spot to the mudra and use both the position of my hands and the intention of the mudra to bring my mind back to meditation when it wanders.

It is a good idea to stick with one position for your hands per meditation session, so as not to get distracted by the switching-mudra game. It’s very easy to turn anything into yet another way not to do the simple work of meditation. At the end of a meditation session, many traditions suggest raising the hands palm to palm and bowing. This is a way to indicate respect and gratitude for having meditated. It is also a way to experience a sense of humility as we bow to the universal forces of wisdom and compassion.

5. Eyes: Some meditation traditions recommend closing the eyes during meditation; others suggest keeping them open and directing the gaze downward, four to six feet in front of you, focusing on a point on the floor. Some suggest keeping a soft, unfocused gaze. I meditate with my eyes closed. You can experiment and see which way affords you the best relaxation and concentration. If you find that closing your eyes makes you sleepy, keep them open. If you find that keeping your eyes open is distracting, close them.

6. Mouth: We hold a lot of tension in the jaw. Let your jaw drop right now. Open your mouth wide, stick your tongue out, then close your mouth. Massage your jaw area from your ears to your chin. Now notice the difference. You can do this often during the day as a way to release tension. During meditation, it is not unusual for tension to gather in the jaw. The Vietnamese Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh recommends smiling slightly, while you meditate, a great way to keep the jaw soft. Or you can drop your jaw and open your mouth several times during meditation.

Understand that the pain or tension you may feel in your body as you meditate is

both physical and psychological. If you experience pain, constriction, restlessness, or all of the above, do not be alarmed, and do not take the attitude “no pain, no gain.” Adjust your position slowly and mindfully as many times as you want during a meditation session. The point of meditation is to be relaxed and awake. Therefore make sure you are comfortable, and at the same time sit in a way that keeps you alert.

At a meditation retreat I heard Thich Nhat Hanh answer a man who said he experienced pain in his shoulders and neck the minute he sat down to meditate. Thay asked the man if he felt that same pain the minute he sat down to watch television. He said that he did not.

Do you stay awake for the whole hour?”

Yes,” said the man.    

Well, then,” Thay suggested, “take that same position when you meditate and make the same adjustments for an hour and see what happens. Later you can see about straightening your body.”

As you sit down to meditate, approach the experience lightly so that your body relaxes, just as it would if you were about to slip into a bath or settle down before the television. Then choose your hand mudra, close your eyes, straighten your back, and at the same time soften your shoulders and expand your chest, so that your posture is also one of gentle openness.

Breath, posture, placement of hands, eyes open or shut: all of these techniques form the container for meditation practice. But none of them eradicates the absurd quantity and aggravating intensity of the thoughts that flood the mind when we sit down to meditate. Please expect this. Good thoughts, bad thoughts, pleasurable ones, disturbing ones – they will come and go as we sit in meditation, watching our breath, maintaining our posture. They are the weather of the mind. Our goal in meditation is not to get rid of thoughts. Rather, the goal is to abandon identifying with each thought as it comes and goes; to watch the thoughts as we would watch the weather from an observation tower.

Feelings also arise during meditation. They often rush into the empty space created when we slow down and sit still. At every retreat I have participated in, there are times when crying can be heard in the room. To an outsider it would appear strange to see a room full of people sitting in meditation on the floor or in chairs, some upright and silent, some bent over, crying softly. A strange sight indeed. But a beautiful one also. There is something so noble about the pure expression of feelings. When drama or sentimentality is absent, tears, are like a healing river moving freely through us. “The answer to anger or sadness or other negative states,” says Thich Nhat Hanh, “is not to suppress or to deny them, but to embrace them with mindfulness like a mother with a baby.” Suppressing feelings in meditation, as in daily life, is like blocking a stream with sticks and mud. Blocked emotions eventually gather enough pressure to break through the dams we construct. Better that they find their way out in the safe environment of meditation than in other situations, where we may be forced to act on them in thoughtless ways.

Guilt, doubt, anger, despair, and other forms of self-judgment are common visitors in meditation practice. So are our convictions, biases, and beliefs. The purpose of meditation is to step boldly into reality, just as it is in the here and now. Therefore, it is helpful to sweep the mind clean of belief systems. Strong opinions can be signs of our passion and intelligence, but sometimes they spring from that part of ourselves that wants to be right, and that holds on tightly to familiar explanations. The ego wants to be a “Republican” or a “Democrat,” an “American,” or a “European,” … It wants to judge things as right or wrong. It wants to be “for” something or “against” something. It does not want to delve more deeply into the full picture of reality. Thus, an opinion about the world can become a foe to mindfulness meditation.   …

…   As you establish a meditation practice, remind yourself every now and then why you are doing it. It is easy to fall into a rote form of practice or, even worse, to feel self-righteous or trendy just because you take a few minutes out of your day to cultivate a quiet mind and an open heart. Remind yourself that you are practicing so that you can be a peaceful person, so that the truths you discover in meditation become the way you live your life. After a while your practice will show up everywhere – from driving the car to reading a bedtime story to your child. Meditation is not separate from life; it is practice for mindful living.

One warning about meditation: Do not use it as yet another way to judge yourself. Meditation can be difficult. While it hones some of our better qualities, it also holds up a mirror to some of our worst. This is one of the reasons we do it: to see ourselves clearly; to love ourselves, warts and all; to crack through the hard crust of the personality until the gem of the self is revealed. Let your resolve to meditate spring from your longing to break open into life, not from enmity toward yourself. Let go of the burden of self-judgment by returning, over and over, to your most basic self, just as you are, with an attitude of forgiveness. Soon you will find yourself forgiving others, and forgiving the world itself.


1.             Place and Time: Find a private and relatively quiet place where you will not be disturbed by people, children telephones, etc. Choose an amount of time you are going to meditate. Set a timer or keep a clock close by. Begin with ten minutes, and work your way up over a few weeks or months to a half hour or forty-five minutes.

2.             Seat and Posture: Assume a comfortable posture, sitting cross-legged on a pillow on the floor or on a simple chair. Keep the spine straight, and let your shoulders soften and drop. Do a brief scan of the body, relaxing parts that are tight. Relax your jaw. Choose a hand position and gently hold it.

3.             Beginning: Close your eyes (or keep your open eyes focused gently on a spot on the floor). Take a deep breath in and let it out with a sigh. Do this three times. As you sigh, release anything you are holding on to. Remind yourself that for these few minutes you are doing nothing but meditating. You can afford to drop everything else for the time being. The pressing details of your life will be waiting for you at the end of the session.

4.             Breath: Bring your attention to your breathing, becoming aware of the natural flow of breath in and out of the body. Observe your chest and belly as they rise and expand on the in-breath, and fall and recede on the out-breath. Witness each in-breath as it enters your body and fills it with energy. Witness each out-breath as it leaves your body and dissipates into space. Then start again, bringing your attention back each time to the next breath. Let your breath be like a soft broom, gently sweepings its way through your body and mind.

5.             Thoughts: When a thought takes you away from witnessing your breathing, take note of the thought without judging it, then gently bring your attention back to your chest or your belly and the feeling of the breath coming in and out. Remember that meditation is the practice of unconditional friendliness. Observe your thoughts with friendliness and then let the breath sweep them gently away.

6.             Feelings: When feelings arise, do not resist them. Allow them to be. Observe them. Taste them. Experience them but do not identify with them. Let them run their natural course, then return to observing your breath. If you find yourself stuck in a feeling state, shift a little on your seat and straighten your posture. Get back in the saddle and gently pick up the reins of the breath.

7.             Pain: If you feel pain in the body – your knees, for example, or your back – bring your awareness to the pain. Surround the area in pain with breath. Witness yourself in pain, as opposed to responding to the pain. If the pain is persistent, move gently to release tension, and return to your posture and breath. You may need to lean against a wall or the back of your chair, or you may want to straighten your legs for awhile. Avoid excess movement, but do not allow pain to dominate your experience.

8.             Restlessness and Sleepiness: If you are agitated by thoughts or feelings, or if you feel as if you cannot sit still, or if you are bored to distraction, come back to your breath and your posture again and again. Treat yourself gently, as if you were training a puppy. Likewise, if a wave of sleepiness overtakes you, see if you can waken yourself by breathing a little more deeply, keeping your eyes open, and sitting up tall. Sleep and meditation are not the same thing. See if you can be as relaxed as you are during sleep, yet at the same time, awake and aware.

9.             Counting Breaths: A good way to deal with all of these impediments to concentration is to count your breaths. On the in-breath, count “one,” and on the out breath, count “two.” Continue up to ten. Then begin again. If you lose count at any point, start over at “one.” As thoughts and feelings, pain and discomfort, restlessness and sleepiness arise, allow your counting to gently override their distracting chatter.

10.           Discipline: For one week, practice meditation each day, whether you are in the mood or not. Even if it is for only five minutes, commit to a regular practice. See how you feel. If you notice a difference (or even if you don’t), commit to another week. Then consider joining a meditation group or taking a retreat and receiving more in-depth instruction and support in your practice.