Sandalwood for Sweet Smelling Natural Health
There are many ways to meditate as we have seen – meditating on a candle or a mantra or even on a piece of chocolate – and they all are designed to bring one to stillness and reflection in order to concentrate on the bigger pictures and questions in life (see previous post -M is for Meditation – Why? Hmmmmm).
Many religions use a string of beads to bring a person to their inner peace. Rosaries are used in Catholicism, worry beads for Greek Orthodox, and for the Hindu religion there is a meditation on mala beads, most commonly made out of sandalwood. The beads on a mala number 108 and are turned slowly and deliberately to induce a state of meditation. The aroma of the sandalwood is released as the beads are turned and are hypnotic, tranquil and soothing.
Sandalwood in aromatherapy is used to quiet a restless or angry mind, lull a person to a deep sleep state, and reduce tension and depression. Sandalwood is also used extensively in skin and body care. For a hair rinse for dry or damaged hair, add a few drops of sandalwood to the final rinse water. For moisturizing skin, combine 3 -5 drops of rose oil with 3 drops of sandalwood in a natural, unscented cream. Sweet almond oil or other neutral carrier oil can be combined with a few drops of sandalwood and jasmine for a relaxing massage. And putting a few drops of sandalwood and one drop of ylang ylang (no more – it’s very strong!) into your bath will prepare you for a sensational night of sensual seduction!
Retreats are good for Natural Health
Too many of us are living in a world full of noise and chaos. We’ve discussed the benefits of taking a time out for peace and quiet (see previous post – Q is for Quiet Contemplation), and while I wholeheartedly recommend meditating each day for a while to quiet the mind and gain clarity, sometimes 20 minutes is just not enough.
Sometimes a person needs to get away. Get away from the hustle and bustle. Get away from the kids and the job and the pressures and responsibilities. Get away from the outside noise and stop and listen to the inner silence. Many authors have extolled the virtues of quiet contemplation in a spiritual retreat setting, a pause in the everyday life to seek a more meaningful rest and respite. “By practicing silence, you nurture your listening skills. You find your true self. You hear the quiet voice of God.”
Retreats can be found all over the world. There are retreat centers where you can learn with great teachers, like the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY or Esalen in Big Sur, California. There are spas where you can go to nurture and pamper your body as well as your mind. You can go to monasteries or on pilgrimages to find your divine spirit (check out Find the Divine, a resource for spiritual retreats – http://www.findthedivine.com/spiritualretreats.html).
Or if you simply can’t get away, you can go within for 20 minutes, and find rest and rejuvenation as you shut out the noise and Retreat from the world. It’s the most important way you can improve your natural health!
Quiet the mind for Natural Health
I once read a book about time travel and how the travelers got to a place long ago and were most amazed at the lack of ambient noise. Do we even think about the noise that is going on all around us? I am lucky to be in a place where there is not much noise, no airplanes overhead, no traffic, no horns honking. Right now there are no children playing outside and no dogs barking at the moon. But it is not silent. There are still noises all around me. Right now as I sit at my computer I have nothing on that could make noise. Yet, I hear my fingers typing on the keyboard and the sound of the fan on the computer.
Every now and then, it pays to take a quiet moment. Stop the noise. Find out what you can hear when there is nothing to listen to. Hear the sound of silence.
If you are not able to be in a place where there is no ambient noise, then simply put on your headphones and put on some very quiet relaxation or meditation music and concentrate on the stillness and silence.
Relax. Watch your breath. Close your eyes and focus on the nothingness, on the stillness, on the silence. Breathe in. Breathe out. Repeat. Listen to the sounds of no sound. Forget about the world outside and be with your own world inside. It will all be there later. But for now, hear the sound of your own heart beat. What lies within? What secrets will be revealed when there are no distractions? Who are you in your heart of hearts? What do you hear when you hear only you?
Meditation can take many forms. You can focus on your breath or focus on a candle. You can sit in one place with your eyes open or you can stand in one place with your eyes closed.
You can repeat a mantra or you can be silent. You can sing, you can dance, you can meditate on a Hershey’s Kiss and eat mindfully (see previous post -M is for Mindful Munching – Making the Most of a Moment of a Meal).
Simply put, meditation is taking time out to focus – on something, on anything – to the exclusion of everything else. To slow down one’s breath, shut off one’s thinking – paying attention to one thing and one thing only.
Hindu chanting, or Kirtan, is a singing meditation. Many different faiths use chanting to put the believers into a trance like state from repetition over and over of a sound. The sound of the mantra “Om Namah Shivaya,” which literally means “I bow to Shiva” or to one of the highest of the Hindu deities. Shiva also refers to the divinity within, and chanting this mantra is done to waken the highest that we might become.
This particular version of “Om Namah Shivaya” is being sung by Deva Premal. Others that I really like are sung by Donna De Lory or Krishna Das or sung during a Siddha Yoga event. All of them are soothing, soulful and life enriching! OOOMMMMM!
Dove Hearts - eat one for Natural Health
Gobble, gobble, gobble! Good for a turkey maybe, but not good for us girls. When we stuff our mouths and eat so fast that we don’t even register what we’re eating, we tend to overeat. There’s something lacking in the shoving something into your mouth that needs to be satisfied if we’re going to eat right and take care of our natural health.
Eating in front of the computer or while watching TV – ‘grabbing breakfast’ or “eating on the run,” just isn’t what it takes to stay healthy, look young and feel good. We need to train ourselves to savor each bit, enjoy the moment, and pay attention to each morsel of munching.
Kisses for your Natural Health
For a lesson in how to eat mindfully, have a seat and let’s do a meditation on eating. Take a beautifully wrapped kiss or a lovely Dovely heart and put it in your hand and have a look at the shape – a licked kiss or a shiny heart. Open up the delicate little package with great care and very little speed, peeling away the metallic foil wrapper. Hold up your heart or your kiss to your nose and breathe in the aroma deeply! MMMMMMM!
Look at the shape, study the color. Slowly and with total attention, gently put the tender morsel into your open, desirous mouth and hold it on your tongue for a moment, lingering for a moment over that first taste. Gently roll it around in your mouth, side to side and up and down, feeling and tasting the delicious chocolate ‘mouth-feel’ everywhere in your mouth and on every individual taste bud. Shut your eyes. Savor the taste! YuMMy! Slow down. Enjoy every meditative moment you have with this delectable kiss or heart.
When you have completed eating this one little chocolate candy, take a moment to think about the experience. Remember how good it was. Are you completely satisfied? Do you feel you need another? If you really want to have another one, okay, go ahead. Do the entire meditative exercise from the beginning. Don’t rush! Do the whole exercise! You’ll be amazed at how one (or at the most 2) kisses or hearts are enough to keep you satisfied!