Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Reclaiming the power, beauty and divinity of women

According to this website:
"Women's spirituality is one of the richest and most dynamic forces in modern Paganism. Women are respected in all Pagan traditions and have enriched Paganism with a powerful vision of the Goddess - the long-ignored feminine aspect of the Divine. In Paganism, women are Priestesses in their own right, strong and proud, with their own vision."
I think paganism can play an important role in our world today as the world is badly in need of healing in terms of environmental crisis and unfair treatment of women in many places. As the website says, "Women's traditions have an especially powerful vision of the Earth as the Goddess and are deeply involved with caring for the Earth and protecting her from the rape of modern civilization. They are concerned with the healing of the Earth and with the healing of the image of women." It is about time for women to reclaim their true identity as goddesses and let their spiritual light shine in imparting wisdom and healing, even as humanity is awakening to our oneness and interconnectedness with one another.

It reminds me of a similar post I came across in a blog recently about the power, beauty and divinity of women.
"We all come from the same mother (the Great Mother). She is the wise woman. We all return to her embrace, her bloody-rich womb place, when we die. Every woman is a whole/holy form of her, able to be whole/holy mother of all life, able to be whole/holy destroyer of life. Her power is her blood that flows and flows, her blood which is life and gives life. Every woman’s menstrual blood and birth-time blood is a holy mystery.
The purpose of this post is to shed light on our power, our beauty, and our divinity. We are not vessels of sin. We are not unclean. We are not lesser. We are not cursed. We are not weak. We are the direct opposite of all of these things. Embrace YOU. Love YOU. Appreciate the divinity and uniqueness of divine womanhood."

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tea for combating winter ailments

Here is a health article about combating winter ailments. I learnt that green tea and ginger tea are especially beneficial to those of blood type B.

This website has a good suggestion on how to decaffeinate tea naturally (since high doses of caffeine can affect the nervous system).

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Meditation and neuroplasticity

Someone wrote in Zen Buddhism group in Facebook:
"One thing that's been very useful for me is to start working my neuroplasticity toward the most natural state the brain can be in by spending more time being fully present. This is sort of a master key for overcoming ALL psychiatric issues."
 I googled about neuroplasticity, and learnt that it is about the brain's ability to form new neural connections, which can be beneficial if stimulated correctly, according to the following website.
"The brain's ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life. Neuroplasticity allows the neurons (nerve cells) in the brain to compensate for injury and disease and to adjust their activities in response to new situations or to changes in their environment."
I think, like what the person shared, practising mindfulness and being in the present moment can help our brain to overcome any distressing symptom. Studies have shown this to be evident:

"Well, the discovery story goes like this. Dr. Schwartz revisited an interest in the Buddhist concept of mindfulness; a clear-minded, in-the-present-moment, self-observational technique that emphasizes viewing oneself without criticism or judgment.
Schwartz discovered that when OCD patients practiced mindfulness meditation (as a CBT technique), upon experiencing distressing symptoms, a significant number of them reported measurable improvement and relief.
Schwartz wanted to understand why. So he and his team examined PET scans administered before and after a course of CBT. Guess what? They found activity in one of the brain’s OCD-significant areas, the orbitofrontal cortex, decreased significantly. Furthermore, the observed decrease was about the same as what would be noted after antidepressant therapy."

I also learnt that besides zen buddhism, yoga also recognises the benefits of practising mindfulness or sustained meditation in helping the brain's ability to change to combat stress.

Being human, I tend to forget about practising mindfulness or living in the present moment, since living in the modern society requires us to multi-task in life, so I think having reminders, such as reading about meditation and inspirational quotes about our oneness with God/the universe, is useful for me to remember to take a deep breath, smile inwardly and be fully present once again.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Nutritional supplements for the gluten-intolerant

Natural News website has a good summary of nutritional supplements that may be beneficial to those who are gluten-intolerant.

Glutamine also serves as a source of fuel for the cells lining the intestine and can promote healing in these cells when they are damaged by gluten.

Probiotics are live bacteria that improve the intestinal microbial balance and enhance overall health. They are the "good" bacteria found in the gastrointestinal track. Inflammation or toxins in the gut can disrupt the balance between "good" and "bad" bacteria. Probiotics may be taken to restore a healthy balance and assist in the removal of toxins created by gluten insensitivity or celiac disease. In addition, a preventative dose of probiotics is a good idea as these microbes promote immune health, and they are frequently absent in modern diets

Omega 3 fatty acids are comprised of the fatty acids EPA and DHA and are found in fish and fish oil supplements. These essential fats are not made by the body and must be eaten or taken in supplement form to ensure the body's adequate functioning. In addition to reducing inflammation, these fats help to support healthy heart, brain, skin, and bone function
Digestive enzymes aid the body in digesting and breaking down proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Digestive enzymes from either animal or plant sources should be taken an empty stomach, 20 minutes before meals or snacks. Enzymes help break down food into forms that the body can use.
Anti-inflammatory herbal formulas can help reduce inflammation and promote healing. Look for herbs like turmeric, aloe vera, ginger, and boswellia in formulas or by themselves as a part of your healing regime.

Notes on Inner Qi seminar

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