Heart White as Snow

Rumi Heart White as Snow

The Sufi’s book is not of ink or letters; it is nothing but a heart white as snow.

Rumi, 13th-century Persian poet, Mathnawi, II, 139

The symbolic image of a “pure heart” permeates mystical poetry, fairy tales, and Wisdom traditions alike. Whether we’re talking about Rumi’s heart white as snow, Snow White and her pure heart of immortality, the Sacred Heart of Christ, or an Egyptian heart weighed against a feather at the time of death, a purified or illumined heart has held great significance throughout the millennia. The terms “purified, cleansed, and illumined heart” are being used interchangeably in this blog to mean a heart where compassion and love has usurped hate, malice, fear and other lower vibrational frequencies.

Looking deeper into the archetypal significance of a purified heart from a Sufi perspective can help guide us through challenging times. You don’t have to be a Sufi or even a believer to benefit from their masterful teachings about the heart. At a most basic level, Sufic philosophy teaches that the spiritual heart (qalb) holds deep wisdom and mediates between the ego and higher Self or spirit.

English archeologist and diplomat Gertrude Bell (1868-1926) writes, “The Sufi path is necessarily experiential, and it is possible today for someone to draw upon Sufi philosophy and be a participant in another religious tradition.” Sufis are masters of the heart and their teachings transcend religious notions and are applicable to seekers from all traditions.

As with Kundalini yoga, you do not need to be a believer in a religious tradition in order to receive wonderful benefits from its practices. Similarly, you don’t have to be a Sufi to gain valuable insights into the symbolism of a heart “pure as snow.” Individuals from any walk of life may experience a greater heart opening through engaging with great Sufi poetry. Archetypal images presented in Sufic poems (i.e. Rumi and Hafiz) bypass the rational mind and enter directly into the domain of the heart. 

Sufism is the path of the heart and the job of the Sufi wayfarer is to purify his or her heart through spiritual disciplines. I consider reading the esoteric poetry of Sufi masters to be a spiritual practice in and of itself that has the capacity to purify your heart. Contemplating poetic lines can reveal hidden truths that lie buried within them such as the following line by Rumi where love is our natural state.

Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” Rumi.

As your heart cleanses, your awareness shifts from lower states of ego-based consciousness (nafs) to those of a compassionate and “purified” heart. In other words, instead of acting out of fear or insecurities, the evolved practitioner comes from a place of love and compassion. Is not this the goal of most if not all spiritual paths? Like anything else, shifting away from the limiting demands of the ego takes time, patience, and practice.

As we manage our emotional states fear dissipates and we enter states of love and compassion. In these higher vibrational states our heart rhythm patterns become more fluid, more coherent. A heart filled with compassion, love, and forgiveness literally syncs up with the natural rhythms of the earth and enters into a high state of coherence.

From a scientific perspective, when the heart is in a coherent state its electromagnetic field resonates with that of the earth, while the earth resonates with the greater universe. But for now, let’s come out of our heads and shift into the mythopoetic language of the Sufis–the language of the heart.

The Sufi’s book is not of ink or letters; it is nothing but a heart white as snow.” — Rumi

In the above quote, Rumi suggests that beyond the written word of convention lies the most valuable treasure of all, a pure heart. The heart is a common denominator across humanity regardless of national boundaries, race, creed, gender, or other differences. The heart has the power to unite people across all divides through increased empathy and compassion.

The intellect may prepare one for the recognition of spiritual truths, but until the movement from head to heart happens by surrendering egoic tendencies, there may be no evolution of awareness. The ecstatic and inspired poetry of Rumi is designed to entice the lower soul (nafs) by the passionate appeal of beauty and harmony (coherence) to transform and reach the higher state of the purified heart.

Sufis teach that by purifying your heart through contemplation, prayer, and meditation (dhikr), you open your soul to healing and transformation. Such purifying techniques may include the mystical poetry, ecstatic dance, and other embodied practices.

Spiritual purification illuminates the heart, generating the creative power of the heart, himma. Henry Corbin, 20th century philosopher and theologian, describes the purpose of himma as, “. . . the concentration of the heart as the organ which makes it possible to achieve the true knowledge of things, a knowledge inaccessible to the intellect” (Alone 229).  Himma is the heart’s longing; it is an intangible quality of the subtle heart that brings images to life and allows their symbolism to unfold. Corbin describes himma as equivalent to “the Greek word enthymesis, which signifies the act of meditating, conceiving, imagining, projecting, ardently desiring.”[1]Himma can be thought of as the creative power of the heart, the well-spring of a inspired life.

For Sufis, spiritual practice “polishes the mirror” of the heart, cleansing the heart of impurities that veil one from the Beloved, God, or higher Self (terms dependent on your spiritual orientation). Similarly, Eastern Christian Orthodox thinking refers to a “cloud” which obscures God from the seeker.[2] The symbol of cloud conveys an obstruction of the heart where a clearing or cleansing is needed.

In Patanajali’s Yoga Sutras[3], one of the oldest yogic texts, such impurities are called kleshas[4] and settle in the heart. They obscure the inner atman or divine Self from Brahman, the universal consciousness of which atman is a part. Sometimes this is described as a drop of water returning to the sea, the two become indistinguishable.

The metaphors of the “dusty mirror” and  the “cloud” refer to mental states that obscure the mind. Sufis and Orthodox Christians believe that the continual remembrance of God through prayer cleanses the mirror, pierces the cloud of unknowing. Prayer is not an intellectual endeavor; rather, heart-felt prayer elevates the vibrational frequency of the practitioner. Christian mystic Cynthia Bourgeault describes this as a “homing frequency” to which one can continually fine-tune oneself.[5]

The Eastern Orthodox Church centered on Constantinople, and the Roman Catholic Church (Rome) became two distinct and separate branches of Christianity as a result of the East-West Schism (or Great Schism) of 1054. While both traditions mention the importance of the heart, the Eastern Orthodox tradition places a central importance on the role of the heart (Greek: kardia) and has its methods for believers. The Eastern Orthodox tradition teaches that the heart has a three-fold nature; the physical organ, soul/psyche, and its spiritual aspect, where upon sacrifice and death, the divine and human is consummated (Philokalia Vol 2 383). Theophan the Recluse[6], for example, asserted that the heart is the inner [hu]man and that “the heart is life, and you must live there” (The Art of Prayer 184) and that one must pray with the “mind in the heart” (The Art of Prayer 276). Accordingly, there is oral prayer (bodily), prayer of the mind, and prayer of the heart (The Art of Prayer 21) used to purify the heart.

The purified heart produces psycho-spiritual coherence with the Divine or cosmos where multiplicity becomes unity. Corbin described “[. . .] the heart as the organ which makes it possible to achieve the true knowledge of things, a knowledge inaccessible to the intellect.”[7] I am using the terms purified heart and coherent heart interchangeably as it is important to remember that non-believers have access to the same phenomenon as believers when considering heart frequencies. A chaotic heart rhythm pattern can be “cleansed” into a coherent pattern through breathing and non-sectarian techniques (i.e. HeartMath practices).

 When the heart is in a state of physiological coherence it creates a strong energetic field that resonates with the greater fields of the earth and cosmos. From a Sufi perspective, in this state the heart becomes a “mirror” whereby one gains access to a higher plane of reality and encounters the Divine.

 When in resonance, the heart “sees” into subtle realms through the “eye of the heart.” This can be directly experienced through a heightened sense of intuitive abilities. When illumined through purification, the heart becomes a portal to infinite realities beyond our everyday life. Swiss-born Islamic philosopher and scholar Frithjof Schuon suggests that this hidden eye of the heart is a two-way conduit between humans and God[8] or Great Spirit. This perspective is not unique to Sufis. Schuon also spent considerable time with the Ogallala Sioux, where he encountered a similar idea:

I am blind and I do not see the things of the world; but when the Light comes from On High, it illuminates my heart and I can see, because the Eye of the heart (Chante Ishta) sees all things. The heart is the sanctuary at the center of which is a small space where the Great Spirit (Wakan Tanka) lives, and this is the Eye of the Great Spirit by which He sees everything, and with which we see Him. [. . .] The [hu]man who is pure in this way, contains the Universe in the Pocket of his Heart (Chante Ognaka, Sioux term for Pocket of his Heart).

Again, we hear the term “pure” in relation to the heart. In the Sioux tradition, there is an implied association among the illumined heart, increased awareness, and Universal order.

And one more example to close, I just love this one. The ancient Egyptians taught that at the time of death the person’s heart was weighed by Anubis against the feather of Maat, the goddess of harmony, justice, and truth. If the heart was pure and lighter than the feather, then all was good and the person’s journey into the afterlife was favorable.

A Section of Plate 3 from the Papyrus of Ani. The Papyrus of Ani is a version of the Book of the Dead for the Scribe Ani. 

As we approach 2021 what ways can you think of to purify your own heart? It is a way that you can accelerate your own awareness and the evolution of humanity. Please do not underestimate your personal power. You have the potential to improve your life and change the world through the power of your heart–himma.

As our heart purifies so does our capacity to evolve and rise up to meet our challenging times with a new understanding of our self and others.

Ways that I work to purify my own heart:

HeartMath practice (heart coherence training)

Kundalini yoga

Meditation

Breathwork

Mystical poetry

Icon gazing

And in 2021 maybe I’ll work on ecstatic dance!


[1] In his analysis of the works of Ibn ‘Arabi, Creative Imagination 224.

[2] The Cloud of Unknowing

[3] The Yoga Sutras are a collection of 196 Indian aphorisms (sutras) on the theory and practice of yoga. Patanjali systematized the central tenets of yoga and organized them in one text, prior to 400 BCE.

[4] In Hinduism and Buddhism, kleshsa are mental states that cloud the mind causing suffering.     

[5]  (The Heart of Centering Prayer, p. 69)

[6] 1815-1894 Theophan contributed to the editing of the Philokalia, sacred texts from 4th and 15th centuries. He was canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church in 1988.

[7] Corbin, Henri. Alone with the Alone. 229

[8] Schuon, Frithjof. The Eye of the Heart 9

Berkey Water Filter System

Berkey Water Filtration System

What is Berkey Water Filter

Berkey Water Filter is a gravity fed micro filtration system to remove over 200 contaminants. Berkey Water Filter is a water purifier, not just another water filter. The Berkey System removes harmful bacteria AND viruses, yet leaves behind beneficial minerals.

Each Berkey filter element purifies 3,000 gallons of water: For a two-filter system that comes to 6,000 gallons costing less than 2 cents per gallon. This is possible because of the Black Berkey filter elements’ unique ability to be cleaned up to 100 times using a Scotch-Brite pad or its equivalent.

Berkey Water Filtration System

CHECK YOUR WATER QUALITY NOW

I was shocked to find out how many contaminants are in our local water supply. How can this be okay? I’m a believer in taking responsibility for our own health as a front-line defense. I believe in doing my part (and research) into finding simple and economical ways to improve the quality of my health. It starts with clean air and clean water.

Black Friday Sale Is On!

Berkey Water Filtration System

Price Range: Check pricing click here

How clean do you think your water is? Find out right now!

Water Quality Search by Zip Code: Click Here

Who is Product For?

The Berkey Water System is for anyone who wants to improve the quality of their drinking water. If you are unsure of how safe your drinking water is check here.

  • People who are concerned about using plastic water bottles and their negative impact on the environment.
  • People who don’t want minerals stripped out of their water as reverse osmosis does.
  • People concerned about their health and concerned about how tap water is affecting them.
  • People who spend time in the outdoors and not pack water in and out. Removes parasites from streams too.
  • People who want to stay prepared before emergency situations impact their home and water supply.
  • People who love the taste of pure clean water.

How To Choose a Berkey Water Filter System

I had a hard time deciding which Berkey Water Filter System to purchase. There are many options but it can be broken down quite simply. This short video will help you decide the optimum system for you.

What Does Berkey Filter System Remove?

Berkey purification elements are formulated using six different materials condensed into a compact matrix containing millions of microscopic pores. These pores prevent pathogenic bacteria, cysts, and parasites from passing through. This microfiltration system also traps pollutants from passing into your drinking water.

Secondly, the filters work to create an ionic barrier that prevents micro contaminants from entering through a process using adsorption and absorption. Elements such as chlorine and iodine are removed.

The Good

Pro #1: the filters last for years and the system is highly portable

Pro #2: retains minerals while purifying water

Pro #3: helps eliminate plastic water bottles and environmental pollution

The Bad

Con #1: Possible overflow is the unit is overfilled

Con #2: Some have experienced poor customer support

Con #3: Problems with the rubber smell at first

The Berkey Water Filter System has been reviewed by thousands of people and the overwhelming majority are very happy customers. I personally have been using my Berkey for a few years and highly recommend it.

I have personally reviewed this product and present you with my quick-read summary findings from many sources. I use the Berkey Water System on a daily basis for my personal drinking water.

Many of the products that I review are affiliate links meaning that I receive a small commission when you purchase products through links in my blogs and reviews.

This enables me to continue my work to help bring you the best products and services to support your health naturally.

Anne Taylor, Ph.D.
Anne Taylor, Ph.D.

Halloween: the Space Betwixt & Between

Halloween

“Honor the space between no longer and not yet”

Nancy Levin

During the brilliant sunlit days of  Indian summer, I still wear my sandals outside. I cling to the all too brief summer days in the Pacific NW maritime climate, but the grass is now wet and its cool in the shade signaling an unmistakable change.

I don’t want to let go, yet find myself in the liminal time and space of autumn . . . as we all do in the Northern hemisphere.

The signs are all around me. As stunningly beautiful as the fall leaves are, they are dying. There is a beauty in letting go, as I too must learn to do.

What has passed can no longer be and what will come is still not a reality. The light is declining, days are shortening and the sun hangs lower on the horizon.

I must let go.

I must surrender.

I must die. Die to the old way of being in this world.

To sit in the space between past and the future is what I teach during my Kundalini yoga classes. There is a death in surrender and an ultimate freedom on the other side.

It requires a shift from a life view as seen from the ego to one of the silent witness within or the Self, as C. G. Jung might say. Meditation helps make this transition. 

Meditation is a practice that shifts you from ego consciousness to a place of calm centeredness of being in the present moment. This internal shift is no less profound than believing that the sun revolves around the earth than being jolted into the new reality that it is the earth that revolves around the sun.

As with most teachers, I teach what I most need to learn: to sit still with the unknown, to let it be, to not go back into my past nor speed ahead into a time and place that has not yet manifested. None of really know what a post-Covid world will really look like or how climate change will affect our day-to-day lives, not to mention a myriad of changes in daily life.

Being calm and at peace in times of liminality is critically important for us all. I practice with the seasons, enjoy the beauty of autumn while releasing my grasping hands on the summer that has already passed–it is no longer mine to hold onto.

Can I learn to love the autumn of my body, and yes, the autumn of my mind. My flesh loses its rigor as the autumn leaves that fall. A mind once razor-sharp in intellect has softened around the edges that now understands better through myth and metaphor.

And we collectively sit in liminal times, the world as we knew it is no longer stable, it has cracks and has given way around the seams. The new paradigm has not yet taken shape–it remains a nebulous vision.

Can we sit together with that? The new paradigm will be as multi-colored and multi-faceted as nature in autumn, and there is room for all colors, voices, and viewpoints.

A collage of distinct, and sometimes opposing images come together to evolve into a beautiful masterpiece.

A new vision and a new world asks us to be able to sit with the unknown and find peace while sitting in the midst of chaos. To get real comfortable in the liminal zones of not knowing what the next thing is or looks like, personally and collectively.

This is to partake in the mystery of life; loosening your grip on the steering wheel, as I like to say.


My goal is to provide tools, technologies, and product resources that help you relieve stress naturally. But sometimes you may need someone to you stay motivated and on track.

You don’t have to go it alone.

Please take advantage of a Free 30-Minute video call with me to talk about your unique situation.

Maybe I can help, and I promise you that if I don’t think I’m a good fit for you I will make other recommendations.

Schedule your appointment now-it’s Free, and let’s see if I can help you manage your stress, high-functioning anxiety, or stress-induced depression.

Anne Taylor

Lauricidin® Reviews

Lauricidin®
Lauricidin®

Introduction

I recently heard about Lauricidin® from a friend who is an accomplished acupuncturist and gifted healer. She has personally been taking Lauricidin® for years and highly recommends her patients do the same. Even though there have been no human clinical trials for Lauricidin® (and therefore not approved by the FDA) people are reporting glowing reviews of this product’s effectiveness.

In my book, direct user experience counts for something–in fact, it counts for a lot. Since Lauricidin® is non-toxic I saw no downside and started taking it as an antiviral precaution. Even though there is no scientific basis as yet, I see no downside since monolaurin (the key component in Lauricidin®) is a naturally-occurring fat found in both coconut oil and mother’s breast milk.

Quick Look

PROSCONS
Anti-Viral PotentialLimited Scientific Data
Anti-Inflammatory Bad Tasting for Some
Gut Health Enhancer Product Consistency on Amazon

What is Lauricidin®?

According to the Arizona Wellness Group, Lauricidin® is a safe and pure supplement derived from coconuts that has effective antiviral properties. It also is touted as being an antibacterial, anti-fungal, and immune stimulant. The reported effectiveness of Lauricidin® comes from something called monolaurin, a medium-chain fat.

Monolaurin is a chemical derived from lauric acid, a component of both coconut fat and breast milk.

Dr. Kabara is the pioneering researcher who discovered monolaurin in mother’s milk (1960’s) and recognized its potential use in the general population as an immune-enhancing substance. Lauricidin® is made by blending lauric acid (saturated fatty acid) from coconut oil with plant-based glycerol (non-soy) creating a pure compound known as monolaurin, a monoglyceride.

Beyond this chemistry jargon, Lauricidin® may be a potential helper for viral defense, although these statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. That said, leading holistic healthcare practitioners by the thousands have been using Lauricidin® for years whether health benefits are scientifically proven or not their clients are responding favorably.

From Manufacturer’s Website (unsubstantiated by FDA)

Emerging research has demonstrated that monolaurate [as found in Lauricidin®] has broad anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties and theorize that it can also envelop and interrupt the replication of certain viruses.

Why Take Lauricidin®?


Dr. Gary Hatlen on Lauricidin®:

Lauricidin® Product Pros & Cons

The Good

Pro #1: The majority of people are self-proclaiming very positive results using Lauricidin®.

Pro #2: Lauricidin® is non-toxic and pure all-natural, free from potential drug interactions and coconut allergens.

Pro #3: Thousands of health care providers are using and recommending Lauricidin® to their clients.

The Bad

Con #1: Some people report that Lauricidin® has an unpleasant taste, however many said that the taste was neutral.

Con #2: A small percentage of people found the product quality inconsistent when purchased on Amazon.

Con #3: Some people reported minor symptoms (headache, joint pain, diarrhea, nausea, and others) when first using Lauricidin®. The manufacturer recommends starting with a reduced dose and building up to the full dose to avoid this.

Who is Product For?

For individuals ages 12 and older who are looking for a supplement to boost the immune system. Guidelines are also provided for children.

Lauricidin® is free of gluten, soy, dairy, or corn-derived ingredients. It is also free of salicylates and contains no animal-derived ingredients.

The shelf-life of Lauricidin® is two years upon manufacture. Many natural products have an expiration date of just one year.

Lauricidin

The customer reviews are overwhelmingly positive and people are having very positive experiences with Lauricidin®. Direct human experience is not considered “evidence-based” science, but the testimonials are something to sit up and pay attention to.

At a time when we need our immune systems to be as strong as possible it is important to take personal responsibility to strengthen our minds and bodies as much as we can. Along with emotional self-regulation protocols I highly recommend that you explore adding supplements that are right for you.

Lauricidin® is one such product that can be added to your daily regime as either a preventative or restorative measure. Although there is limited “scientific data” on Lauricidin®, there is the direct experience of thousands of people who have had great results using Lauricidin®.

Do your homework, speak to your health care provider and make an informed choice if Lauricidin® is a supplement that makes sense for you. I know it does for me and I’m happy to recommend it based on the direct experience of so many people.

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I have personally reviewed this product and present you with my quick-read summary findings from many sources.

Many of the products that I review are affiliate links meaning that I receive a small commission when you purchase products through links in my blogs and reviews.

This enables me to continue my work to help bring you the best products and services to support your health naturally.

Anne Taylor, Ph.D.
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“Masking” the Vagus Nerve: A Polyvagal Informed Perspective on the COVID-19 Pandemic

COVID Masking

Social distancing, mask wearing, and self-isolation have become an accepted norm in many parts of the world since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic. The latest science reports, including a scientific article from the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) “Universal Masking to Prevent SARS-CoV-2 Transmission—The Time Is Now,” clearly articulates the effectiveness of mask wearing, and calls for all Americans to comply. There is a clear correlation among wearing a mask, compliance with social distancing and the spread of COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2).

The responsible thing to do is: wear your mask in public. I do, and I encourage everyone to.

But let’s also talk about the unseen consequences of wearing a mask . . . and what you can do about it.

Mask wearing a face mask is uncomfortable but it is for personal safety and the safety of others that we do so. Aside from physical difficulties (such as breathing problems), there are hidden psychological factors that need to be brought into public awareness so that we can do our best to compensate for them. Beyond the mere discomfort of wearing a mask, we are actually making it difficult to connect with other human beings.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) addresses public health risks but not the psychological implications of mask-wearing. Because we “read” other people’s faces without even being aware that we are doing so, covering your face means other people can’t read you either.

People who rely on lip-reading to communicate are especially impacted by others wearing masks. They simply can’t “see” what they are saying. And for people who don’t hear well it is important for to remember to speak loudly and clearly enough to be heard easily. It’s the polite and integrous thing to do.

Wearing a Mask is Like Putting a Blindfold on Your Ventral Vagus Nerve (the Nerve of Compassion)

The necessary precaution of mask-wearing creates a pandemic of its own. We are being cut off from social connections in public places because, in large part, we cannot read the emotional landscape around us. This matters because social connection helps us reduce anxiety and fears surrounding the pandemic. When we feel more isolated our fears and anxieties heighten–the last thing we need.

What Does My Nervous System Have to Do with Wearing a Mask?

One of the most important jobs of the nervous system is to keep you alive; it continuously scans for threats to your safety and cannot distinguish between real and perceived threats, such as needless fear and worry. Nervous system response happens below your conscious awareness and is referred to as “neuroceptions,” a term coined by Porges. The rational brain is typically bypassed when the nervous system assesses someone’s face, for example, to determine if they are safe or a threat. Think angry boss, road rage, or worse. Porges explains, “Because of our heritage as a species, neuroception takes place in the primitive parts of the brain, without our conscious awareness” (Porges, 2011, p. 11). 

When you cover your face with a mask, your nervous system cannot read the facial expressions of another person. Our nervous system works below our conscious awareness and when we can’t see someone’s face, we can’t adequately read “cues of safety and cues of danger.”

Our social engagement systems have been compromised and it is important to find other ways to socially engage, especially if you live alone. 

As modern humans, our first defense against threats is social engagement. When we have a problem we call home, a friend, or in pre-Covid times, even pull up a seat at the bar (preferably a juice bar). We want to talk our problems through with someone who will listen and reflect back to us in an empathetic manner. Even if we know that no one can solve our problems, we still want to be listened to and validated.

Facial expression is universal and your facial muscles (striated) are wired to your vagus just as your heart is. The vagus nerve is the 10th cranial nerve and provides two-way communication between the major organs of the body and the brain. Facial expressions and your heart are closely linked.

Without saying a word, we know if someone is feeling compassion, empathy, or conversely, a threatening emotion such as anger or hostility. Much of our one on one communication is below our conscious awareness! The nervous system has the ability to bypasses the rational processing functions of the brain but your body is keeping score, a term coined by Bessel Van der Kolk, MD.

Facial expression and personal identity is greatly diminished when we wear a mask because the portion of your face that gets covered is the striated muscles below the eyes responsible for facial expression. When we cannot automatically, and nearly instantaneously, assess a person’s intentions based on their facial cues we enter into feelings of social disconnectedness, and isolation (Porges). When the nervous system cannot “read” facial cues we begin to feel cut off from other people. Many of us feel like we’re walking around like zombies.

When we cannot get emotional comfort (co-regulation) from social sources, our bodies move on to the next older evolutionary part of the nervous system: mobilization (Porges).

Mobilization is also known as the fight/flight response of the sympathetic nervous system. You may feel this as anxiety, a racing heart, aggression, or the need to get away. As the name implies, the flight/fight sympathetic nervous system prepares us to mobilize and take action.

But when you’re dealing with fear-based stress and anxiety there is really no one to fight and nowhere to go! Your body is working in overdrive mode and you are exhausting yourself. Sound familiar? The nervous system is inextricably linked to your hormonal and immune systems as they work hand in hand. Stress hormones get released and the immune response activates in the fight/flight mode.

A lot of precious resources are being used with no solution to fear and anxiety in sight. When the sympathetic nervous system fails to secure our survival from perceived or real threats, the third and oldest in the evolutionary chain takes over: the immobilization response. This portion of the vagus nerve is called the dorsal vagus nerve is the most primitive part of our nervous system. When activated, your body will “freeze” or feign death as a last resort to protect itself.

Please Remember:

  • Speak clearly and in a friendly tone and cadence
  • Make eye contact with people and say “hello” with your eyes (we need friendliness now!)
  • Join online events, especially if you live or work alone, to maintain social contact where you can see other peoples’ entire faces
  • Masks are dehumanizing, remember that there is a real person with feelings behind the mask

Footnote:

Brooks JT, Butler JC, Redfield RR. Universal Masking to Prevent SARS-CoV-2 Transmission—The Time Is Now. JAMA. Published online July 14, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.13107

 (https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2768532)

What is a Kansa Wand?

What is a Kansa wand?

What is a Kansa Wand?

Have you ever seen a beautiful Kansa Wand and then wondered what is a Kansa wand and what is Kansa? The Kansa wand is an ancient Ayurvedic massage tool that has been used for centuries. The Kansa wand has a distinctive dome-shaped metal head made of purified bronze (from an alloy of copper and tin). Kansa has a high electrical conductivity that harmonizes the energies of the body-mind by massaging the skin with specialized oils, including Kansa oil. Whether you are a skilled practitioner or want to experience the benefits of a Kansa massage yourself, it is important to invest in the right one.

Why Use a Kansa Wand?

When used properly (see video below) the Kansa wand puts subtle pressure on marma points in the face and body. Marma points are energy points in the body used for healing in Ayurveda, the ancient Indian science of holistic healing. 

  • Brings healthy blood flow to the face
  • Relieves tension in the body and mind
  • Tones & firms the skin and underlying
  • Reduces puffiness under the eyes
  • Soothes, cools, & smooths skin

  • Helps prevent wrinkle formation
  • Harmonizes energy
  • Relieves tension at TMJ point
  • Relieves tension held in temples & hairline
  • Natural stress relief

HowToRelieveStressNaturally.com is dedicated to finding products and services that help you find your way through high levels of stress, anxiety, and depression naturally. I love Kansa wands because they do not use electricity or used with toxic products from the cosmetic industry. By using the Kansa wand with a high-grade facial oil you will naturally relieve emotional stress and oxidative stress on the body, the kind that creates free radical damage. Think of an apple browning after it’s been cut, that damage happens inside and out the body as well. Let’s do what we can to minimize decay and boost rejuvenation.

How to Use Your Kansa Wand

You will receive maximum benefits with consistent daily use of your Kansa wand. Just like a meditation or mindfulness practice, the power is in consistent small actions. As you use your Kansa wand, your circulation improves and subtle energetic points are stimulated.

Please watch this easy to follow video to see where the key marma points are and the proper technique for using your Kansa wand. Marma points used in the Ayurvedic system are points of vital energy that connect to nerve endings and located throughout the body. This is a similar concept to meridian points in Chinese medicine. You can follow the same procedure with self-massage or do it for someone else.

When to Use Your Kansa Wand

Use your Kansa wand on clean skin for at least 5 minutes per day. Make this part of your morning and evening cleansing ritual twice a day for best results. Why not enjoy giving yourself a full facial massage for 20 minutes and include your neck. The Kansa wand can be used on different areas of the body; this post primarily addresses facial massage use.

Use a high-quality organic skin oil with your Kansa wand. Kansa oil by Ayurvedic Experience is formulated to keep your Kansa wand fine-tuned.

Kansa Oil: the Perfect Companion for your Kansa Wand

The Kansa wand that I recommend is by Ayurvedic Experience. The quality of the Kansa metal is the quality of the Kansa wand itself. If you are going to spend the time doing daily facial massages then it is a good idea to get a quality tool. Other important factors that go into my review of a product is the testing, purity, and manufacturing process:


ANNE TAYLOR

Heart Coherence & The Power of Compassion

Of the many images that have come out from the merciless killing of George Floyd, there is one theme that emerges loud and clear: a widespread loss of compassion has permeated our society. Images of overt racial hatred and violence, that have been brewing for decades, have precipitated into a defining moment that illuminated our collective malaise: a loss of compassion for one another.  

Everyone has been affected by the events surrounding the heartless murder of George Floyd in one way or another, for his death was a crystalizing event representing the breaking point and the enormity of the racial injustices that we still permeate our culture today. Racism in the United States and beyond has reached its tipping point. Understandably, people are responding with anger, rage, and outrage. But without systemic changes that start with each individual, we can expect a repeat of this event as we have seen so many times in the past.

Regardless of our racial background, we all have a responsibility in making ourselves, homes, and communities a safer and more accepting place where these outrageous behaviors are no longer tolerated. We must all do the hard work within ourselves first before we point fingers at the “other” who is likely a projection of our own fears. To project hatred onto another human being or race is to bypass dealing with the elements within ourselves that need healing.  

I would like to draw our attention to the lack of compassion that seeds a systemic disregard for our fellow humans that includes race and goes beyond race. There has been a dulling down of our care for one another for centuries that runs deep through our culture. And one of its tap roots lies in chronic, unsustainable levels of stress, anxiety, and depression that so many people are encountering these days. There is a direct correlation between chronic stress and loss of compassion for self and others.

It’s a tangible and viable place to start when you think that there’s nothing that “I” can do: first, rebuild compassion for yourself. This is the first critical step in growing compassion for others and requires us to reconnect with our heart centers.

As you open your own heart with compassion for yourself, this process leads to a healthier and happier you. When our bodies are in a chronic fight/flight/freeze state the portion of our autonomic nervous system that facilitates compassion is dialed down. While in defense mode, we are thinking about our own survival (self and family) rather than the well-being of others. There is less available bandwidth for caring for community members and global brothers and sisters.

Research published by the Heartmath® Institute has shown that just one five-minute episode of anger is so stressful that it weakens your immune system for six hours or longer.

Transforming anger requires us to deal with longstanding beliefs and behaviors that can trigger a vicious cycle of reactions once our “buttons get pushed.” The human heart has intelligence that we can tap into to overcome anger, stress, and overwhelm.

J. Andrew Armour, a founding member of the International Neurocardiology Network and an Emeritus Professor for the University of Montreal, is an acclaimed leader and pioneer in the field of Neurocardiology, the science of the intersection between the heart and the nervous system. In 1991, Armour introduced the term “heart brain” after conducting research that found the heart is a sensory organ with a unique, intrinsic nervous system independent of the brain. The heart does indeed have a mind of its own. Armour’s findings continue to be expanded by researchers at the HeartMath Institute.

The HeartMath “Get Neutral” Tool

The moment you begin to feel that your anger is starting to rise, try this deceptively simple, yet highly effective, technique called “Get Neutral.”

  • Take a time-out to disengage from your thoughts and feelings, especially stressful ones. Actually say to yourself, “time out,” as you recognize and feel your emotional triggers, then step back from all reactions to them.
  • Shift your focus to the area around your heart and feel your breath coming in through your heart and going out through your solar plexus.
  • Tell yourself, “Go to neutral,” and remain in this neutral zone until your emotions ease and your perceptions relax.

FREE MONTHLY ONLINE EVENT TO RAISE GLOBAL HEART COHERENCE 

What Can I Do?

Consider Joining Us Once a Month to Help Raise Personal & Collective Heart Coherence

Heart Coherence

A Global Movement for Heart-Powered Change

WeAddHeart is a meetup group for people who feel the pull to connect with their own heart and the hearts of others, to live life more fully from the heart and to create a more heart-based world.

By coming together our intention is to practice simple heart-focused techniques which will improve our personal health and happiness, help us to connect with the hearts of others and to play our part in raising social and global consciousness with the aim of creating greater fairness, understanding and peace between peoples and nations.

ANNE TAYLOR

What is Amla?

What is amla?

What is Amla and what is Chyawanprash? The two questions go hand in hand since Amla (Phyllanthus emblica) is the primary “power ingredient” in Chyawanprash. First, what is Chyawanprash?

Chyawanprash (sometimes spelled chavanprash) is an Ayurvedic immune system tonic that consists of a condensed blend of nutrient-rich herbs and minerals, the main ingredient being Amla (Indian gooseberry). The Ayurvedic system (a 5,000+ year-old traditional Indian healing science that is based on balance) teaches that Chyawanprash restores depleted energy or life force (ojas) energy. It helps to strengthen the immune system while increasing vitality anti-aging benefits.

The Alma berry is the world’s richest source of vitamin C, according to the research of Rohit Sharma from the Central Ayurveda Research Institute for Drug Development. As a robust anti-oxidant, Alma’s effectiveness begins with immune-building properties but does not stop there.

Individuals who consume CP [Chyawanprash) regularly for a definite period of time showed improvement in overall health status and immunity.

Narayana DB et al. See references below.

Researchers Narayana DB, et al, reported in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology that ” […] individuals who consume CP [Chyawanprash) regularly for a definite period of time showed improvement in overall health status and immunity.” The researchers also called for further randomized controlled trials to further substantiate the immune-boosting and other benefits of Chyawanprash.

There are many manufacturers of Chyawanprash, and I’ve selected two as examples of company’s that put an emphasis on organic ingredients, the importance of process, and follow ancient Ayurvedic recipes. The first is an industry leader and was founded by Ayurvedic MDs, I have chosen RUVed® as an example of a highly reputable company that uses organic ingredients when possible and pharmaceutical-grade quality control and testing. Their processing procedures follow ancient Ayurvedic methodologies; a great product can be destroyed by overheating or other inconsistencies in the preparation process. You can learn more about this manufacturer on its RUVed® website.

Here is a list of herbs and other ingredients in Ayush’s R•U•VED® Amla Plus™ formula.

Amla-Based Triphala Plus

For people who prefer a capsule form and want to focus on building immunity through improved digestion, VPK Mapi offers another excellent option. Triphala Plus As the name implies, the focus of this product is to blend amla with digestive and detoxing herbs, including Amla.

Organic Digest Tone®Triphala Plus — Digestion Management®

The ingredients in Triphala Plus are more streamlined than the Chyawanprash blend and targeted towards digestive aid–a primary principle in Ayurvedic medicine to a healthy body.

The ingredients in Triphala Plus or Digest Tone are streamlined when compared to the Amla Plus above. Where the Amla Plus is a broad spectrum Ayurvedic herbal tonic, the Triphala Plus is more focused towards the digestive system. Keep in mind, the digestive tract plays a crucial role in our immune system health.


Why Take Amla?

“Chyawanprash, CP, [Amla is a key ingredient] is an Ayurvedic superfood and healer par excellence that strengthens the immune system and revitalizes the psychosomatic system, a superior, nutritious, and safe health tonic that is beneficial for all age groups and genders alike.”

Rohit Sharma et al. “Chyawanprash: A Traditional Indian Bioactive Health Supplement”

Researchers have reported Amla as the “wonder berry” in the treatment and prevention of cancer (European Journal of Cancer Prevention). But that is just the beginning of scientific research going on for this traditional herbal medicine.

In the following YouTube video, Neuroscientist and Integrative Medicine pioneer, Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary discusses Amla in relation to the three doshas. If you would like to find out what your dosha balance (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha) is, click here.

Chyawanprash consists of Amla/Amalaki (Phyllanthus emblica) as a base, which is considered to be a highly effective Rasayana, i.e. the specialized use of herbs, for sustaining homeostasis.

Who is Amla For?

““Amla is the most important medicinal plant in the Indian traditional system of medicine” Manjeshwar Shrinath Baliga, PhD

https://www.clinicaleducation.org/resources/reviews/amla-an-ancient-super-berry-emerges-from-india/#_edn3

Amla Plus is for people who are looking for a comprehensive product that serves as a daily staple to help boost immune support and provide a plethora of benefits from high levels of anti-oxidants.

Caution: If you are pregnant or nursing, or have a pre-existing medical condition, please consult your physician before taking this or any other dietary supplement. Please consult manufacturer’s website for dosing children.

Where Can I Get Amla?

There are several ways to take Amla. I like the Amla Plus formula because it was developed by Ayurvedic physicians (MDs) who understand the intricacies of Ayurvedic and Western medicine. Instead of taking more capsules, I like to consume Ayurvedic formulas more as food rather than medicine. The Amla Plus product can be consumed as you would a jelly or smoothie ingredient.

Click Here or On Image
Click Here or on Image

How Do I Take Amla?

This manufacturer recommends taking 1 teaspoon twice daily or as directed by your physician. Amla Plus can be mixed with hot water like tea (1 tsp to 1 cup of hot water). It can also be used as a fruit spread or added to your morning smoothie.

The Organic Digest Tone (Triphala Plus) should be taken one hour before bedtime and does not need to be taken with food.

References

Goyal, Mandip. “Rasayana in perspective of the present scenario.” Ayu vol. 39,2 (2018): 63-64. doi:10.4103/ayu.AYU_300_18

Usharani, Pingali et al. “Evaluation of the effects of a standardized aqueous extract of Phyllanthus emblica fruits on endothelial dysfunction, oxidative stress, systemic inflammation and lipid profile in subjects with metabolic syndrome: a randomised, double blind, placebo controlled clinical study.” BMC complementary and alternative medicine vol. 19,1 97. 6 May. 2019, doi:10.1186/s12906-019-2509-5

Sharma, Rohit et al. “Chyawanprash: A Traditional Indian Bioactive Health Supplement.” Biomolecules vol. 9,5 161. 26 Apr. 2019, doi:10.3390/biom9050161

Zhao, Tiejun et al. “Anticancer Properties of Phyllanthus emblica (Indian Gooseberry).” Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity vol. 2015 (2015): 950890. doi:10.1155/2015/950890


Dr Anne Taylor

What is Amrit?

Amrit is an Ayurvedic herbal supplement that is formulated to promote immunity, health and longevity. I also wondered, what is Amrit, and want to share my research with you. Amrit comes from the Sanskrit word meaning “immortality,” similar to the Greek word “Ambrosia.” Amrit translates to an “elixir of immortality.” Yogis often meditate in the hours before daylight (4 am to 7 am) because that window of time is said to be the “Amrit Vela” or ambrosial hours.

The ancient Indian sacred texts refer to Amrit as nectar, the drink of the devas, the Divine ones. For us mortals, Amrit is a food that promotes health and vigor by nourishing and balancing our bodies and minds. Ayurveda teaches that Amrit nourishes our blood, muscles, bones, marrow, reproductive fluids, and other important body fluids.

Amrit balances the three doshas, Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, and therefore tri-dosha balancing. If you would like to take a short quiz to find out what your primary dosha and dosha balance is, click here.

Amrit is considered a Rasayana, a primary method for promoting vigor and health on the physical level which also prepares you for experiencing transcendence. A great benefit for those seeking a stress and anxiety-free way of being in the world. Amrit supports your vital strength or “bala” which contributes to longevity.

“Enhancing memory and longevity; keeping body and mind limber; imparting radiance to the skin; benefiting the quality of voice and effectiveness of speech, and increasing the fortitude of the senses and intellect”

As described in the oldest existing Indian medical text, Charaka Samhita

Why Take Amrit?

As a Full-Spectrum Natural Antioxidant Herbal Supplement, this product is effective for people who want to support their brain, nervous system, and immune system. Amrit is a powerful antioxidant, which slows down the aging process by “mopping up” free radicals.

The key to Amrit’s effectiveness is in its ability to reduce free-radical damage. Think of a cut apple left on the counter; it starts to brown from or free-radical’s oxidation. That is where the term anti-oxidant comes from, that which reduces the “browning” or decaying effect.

The same can happen with your own body, oxidation causes damage to your cells, DNA, and health in general. Anti-oxidants help prevent oxidative stress from happening in the first place. Bioflavonoids are responsible for Amrit’s highly effective antioxidant power. Amrit scavenges up free-radicals which also helps keep cholesterol in check.

Also known as the “Golden Cup of Longevity,” Amrit also is said to strengthen mental retention and recall. Amrit helps you with the aging process, supports heart health and cardiovascular as well as brain health by reducing free radical damage.

Top 5 Reasons to Take Amrit

  • Improves Your Immunity
  • Brain and Nervous System Support
  • Longevity Enhancing
  • Full-Spectrum Antioxidant
  • 97-99% Organic Ingredients

Amrit is prepared from a blend of 44 herbs that are processed at low temperatures to preserve the vital nutrients. The “antiquity processing” maintains the integrity of the Amrit. When looking for Ayurvedic formulas the manufacturing process is as important as the individual ingredients themselves.

Who is Amrit For?

Amrit is formulated for people who want to improve their immune systems, health and vitality. Amrit is highly beneficial for people who want to add natural protection to help them prevent getting sick. People also love Amrit for anti-aging purposes.

The researchers who conducted studies using Maharishi Amrit concluded that “it [Amrit] contributes to the prevention of the immunosenescence.” Immunosenescence means the gradual deterioration of the immune system brought on by the natural aging process. Source: “Effects of Maharishi Amrit Kalash 5 as an Ayurvedic herbal food supplement on immune functions […]”

How Do I Take Amrit?

Ayurvedic practitioners recommend taking the Amrit Kalash Ambrosia together with Amrit Kalash Nectar as a paired and harmonizing immune system supplement. The manufacturer recommends that you consult your health care provider prior to taking any supplements, including Amrit.

Herbs work better together, they have a synergistic effect when properly combines. This is why the formulas passed down through the ages are revered in Ayurvedic medicine. Amrit formulas haven’t changed much since ancient times and the methods are passed down from one generation of Ayurvedic practitioners to the next. This is especially true of reputable producers of Amrit, such as VPK MAPI.

Three Ways to Take Amrit

What is amrit
Amrit® Kalash Ambrosia — Immunity Management®
What is amrit
Amrit Kalash Nectar Tablets
Amrit Kalash Nectar Paste | 20 oz.
What is Amrit

When Do I Take Amrit?

The manufacturer’s suggested use for Amrit is to take once per day. The nectar can be used as you would a fruit spread or put into your morning smoothie


Dr Anne Taylor

Contact Dr. Anne Taylor Now

What is CARDITONE?

What is Carditone

What is CARDITONE?

CARDITONE is an herbal Ayurvedic formula traditionally used to maintain blood pressure and support heart health. This proprietary blend of herbs and minerals is high in heart-friendly antioxidants and is reported to have calming effects. CARDITONE is one of many natural remedies for high blood pressure. Natural remedies for high blood pressure may be well suited for people who have borderline high blood pressure.

Ayurveda is the ancient science of life and seeks to balance as a way of healing and prevention. Ayurveda comes out of India and is a 5,000+-year-old science. Ayurveda is based on the principle of restoring your body’s natural balance.

  • Rauwolfia: traditionally used to maintain blood pressure and support heart health, is one of CARDITONE’s active herbal ingredients.
  • Convolvulus pluricaulis
  • Terminalia Arjuna: supports heart health
  • Tribulus terrestris: supports kidney health
  • Boerhaavia diffusa: supports kidney health
  • Magnesium: maintains cellular health, electrolyte balance
Rauwolfia

Carditone, formulated and manufactured by Ayush Herbs, is a commonly used herbal preparation designed to support healthy blood pressure levels. Carditone has been a go-to formula for naturopathic physicians and like-minded practitioners for over 25 years. 

Always seek the advice of your health care professional prior to starting any new supplement program.

Why Take Carditone?

Carditone is taken by people who want to maintain healthy blood pressure. High blood pressure requires the immediate attention of a health care practitioner and should not be self-diagnosed. For people who are borderline hypertensive a natural remedy such as Carditone may be helpful, as many people have found.

  • Carditone helps support blood pressure levels already within a normal range
  • Carditone is rich in antioxidants
  • Carditone promotes relaxation

The Mayo Clinic reports that: Rauwolfia alkaloids (a key ingredient in Cartitone) belong to the general class of medicines called anti-hypertensives. They are used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension).

The American Heart Association states that high blood pressure as 130/80 mm Hg or higher. The latest guidelines suggest that you monitor your blood pressure often. Monitoring your blood pressure at home can help you and your doctor decide if lifestyle changes or medication may be required.

Who is Carditone For?

Carditone is for people who have normal to slightly elevated blood pressure and want to maintain healthy blood vessels. Customer reviews on Amazon have been outstanding for this product. Many people have found it very helpful in maintaining normal blood pressure levels.

How do You Use Carditone?

The recommended dosage is 1 caplet once daily or as directed by your health care provider.


Scientific Validation

The following study was conducted using Carditone to determine the long-term safety of this cardiovascular health dietary supplement. The study finds that this dietary supplement is safe for long-term use in adults with early stages of hypertension. It is important to note that this was a small study and also recommends further research. Readers are cautioned to consult with their health care provider to discuss their medical history and determine if this product is right for you.

At the time of this writing, Carditone is well reviewed by over 1,300 people on Amazon.


How to relieve stress

I spend considerable time researching products that can relieve stress naturally or are closely related. I share these products with you in the hopes that they will reduce your stress and increase your well-being.

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