Posted on Leave a comment

Kadampa Meditation and Compassion

I attended a class yesterday evening at Kadampa in Chelsea, New York City.  The class started off with a 10 minute conversation about meditation led by the instructor, Taz. Taz then led the class into a 25 minute meditation- both guided with some moments of silence. The theme of the class was compassion- self compassion and compassion for others. ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀

⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀
After meditating, the instructor read some parts of Geshe Kelsang Gyatso’s book, Modern Buddhism. It is the distillation of Geshe Kelsang’s life’s work of bringing Kadampa Buddhism to the contemporary world in practical and modern way. Taz read through some of the book and then would reflect on the concepts to help us integrate methods of Buddhism into our lives, continuing with the theme of compassion. She spoke about having a headache and how in that moment how irritating a headache could be. When thinking about how many people in the world have headaches, the headache’s annoyance could then dissipate.
⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀

This reminded me of many concepts from one of my favorite books by Pema Chodron , “When Things Fall Apart.” Below are a few excerpts from the book that came to mind during class. ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀

🔹”Unwise selfish people think only of themselves, and they result is confusion and pain. Wise selfish people know that the best thing they can do for themselves is to be there for others. As a result, they experience joy.”⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀

🔹Tonglen is a practice to awaken our compassion. Whenever we encounter suffering in any form, the tonglen instruction is the breathe it in with the wish that everyone can be free of pain. Whenever we encounter happiness in any form, the instruction is to breathe it out, send it out, with the wish that everyone could feel joy. It is a practice that allows people to feel less burdened, a practice that shows us how to love without conditions.

Taz gave us a short homework exercise to do before next week’s class- to breathe in the pain/stress of someone we knew, then as we breathe out, to send happiness and joy their way.

The class was from 5:30-6:30 for only $10. They also have $5, 30 minute classes during lunch and after work during weekdays. I really liked this class and definitely recommend. It was really nice to go to a class that incorporated learning about Buddhism, meditation as well as self reflection.

Posted on Leave a comment

Copal for Energy Purification

Burning Copal. Copal incense is a natural incense that is used to purify the energy of spaces, places and objects. One of the best uses is to clear away negative energy and make positive changes. It is a great incense to use during the Full Blood Moon Eclipse for tonight/tomorrow, clearing the past and beginning a new chapter. ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀

I first learned about Copal during my time at Pachamama in Guanacaste Costa Rica. They used it during their daily meditation sessions and with other mindful practices. ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀

Since ancient times, Copal incense has been considered sacred to the people of Mexico, as well as South and Central America. Copal resin comes from trees in the Buresa family, which is considered a medicinal tree to the Mayas in southern Mexico

Copal incense is a good energy tool to use during meditations: ⠀

  • It is linked with the crown chakra, which helps deepen ones awareness and encourages pure thoughts during meditation. ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀
  • Helps clear negative energies, connects us with the our higher consciousness and surrounds us with high vibrations.
  • Removes energy blockages. ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀
  • Helps you to shift ones mindset and helps in times of stress or depression.
Posted on Leave a comment

Ayurvedic Food

I ate dinner at Divya’s Kitchen the other week with a friend. It is a Vegetarian Ayurvedic restaurant in the East Village and I couldn’t be more pleased with my experience! My friend and I both ordered lunch/dinner again from there within the next few nights.

What does Ayurveda mean? It is the traditional Hindu system of medicine, which is based on the idea of balance in bodily systems and uses diet, herbal treatment, and yogic breathing.

On the menu there were the words “Vata”, Balancing for Airy, “Pitta”, Balancing for Fiery, “Kapha” Balancing for Earthy, and “Tridoshic” Balancing for All. Next to each dish, would be one of these words.

There are several ways to determine your body type. The most accurate is through the detailed history and physical by an Ayurvedic Physician. The owner, Divya Alter , studied Ayurveda in India. I was lucky enough to speak with her after my dinner. She is extremely knowledgeable and passionate, and has a beautiful blog with many recipes and an article that further explains Ayurvedic eating.  You can check her website out here.

She also offers Ayurvedic cooking classes above her restaurant that I am so eager to check out!

Below is Roasted Seasonal Vegetables with Quinoa-wild rice pilaf, beluga lentils and tahini sauce

Below is Seasonal Khichari, a grains and lentils stew with yellow mung, red lentils, quinoa, basmati rice, green beans, carrots, zucchini, kale, cilantro-mint chutney and sautéed leafy greens.  This dish was so warming and filling but also light and I left feeling super nourished.

Below is delicious Raw Chocolate Mousse dessert sweetened with dates

They also have the most impressive tea selection I have ever seen! I would totally come here with a friend just to meet up for tea.

img_0055.jpg

Some other fun facts about Divya’s Kitchen:

  • They make their cultured Ghee ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀
  • They cook their soup 2x a day ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀
  • They make their own almond milk (no nasty fillers/preservatives) ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀
  • Divya sells her cookbook, ghee, raw chocolate and many other goodies at a table in the restaurant, seen below. You can find her cookbook here:

Check out more on my Instagram @simply11.made

Posted on 2 Comments

Floating

Saturday I floated in a tank at Floating Lotus in Midtown Manhattan with hundreds of pounds of epsom salt for an hour with full sensory deprivation – no lights or sound.

Before getting in, I put in ear plugs and then rinsed off in the shower. Then, I got into the tank, laid down and hit a button on the wall to shut the light off.

When I first laid down in the water that is set to the same temperature as our body, I felt an irritation in the lower part of my back. I cracked my back and it was then fine. Apparently, its common for aches and pains to arise in the water and for our bodies to become more aware of them while floating.

The women at the front desk, Noah was very informative and mentioned how floating was a meditative state between being awake and being asleep. In my first few moments of floating, it felt exactly like this. I had a similar feeling as when I seldom dream at night of flying. It felt as if my body was being elevated and that I was caught between an awake and sleeping state of being. There is no gravity pulling you down in the tank, so the sense of euphoria/freedom I felt made sense

For a while after, my mind started racing about my plans for the rest of the day. I tried to calm it down by focusing on my breath. I do like meditating, but I usually meditate with a a guided meditation or a sound meditation with intense noise. I was told that flotation this has higher benefits and gets “easier” the more often you do it (like anything else, right?). When my hour was up, the light turned on. I got out and showered. There was a noticeable difference in my anxiety levels. I felt relatively anxious earlier that day and felt a noticeable difference in my mood after floating. I felt very calm and relaxed and ready for my day!

Some other benefits according to Floating Lotus include:

Mental Benefits

🔹Stimulates left/right brain synchronization

🔹Creates mental clarity, alertness

🔹Increases creativity, problem solving

🔹Heightens visualization

🔹Deepens meditation

Physical Benefits

🔹Decreases the production of cortisol, ACTH, lactic acid and adrenaline

🔹Increases production of endorphins

🔹Speeds up rehabilitation and recovery

🔹Relieves pain

For more, check out my Instagram at simply11.made

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Natural Tick prevention tips in the Hamptons

IMG_4968Eastern Long Island is at High Risk for Lyme Disease. May through September are the highest risk months due to intense nymphal activity. Make sure you are taking the proper steps for tick prevention! Below is some information from lectures I have been to in Sag Harbor with Lyme literate doctors and my own research.


Ticks hate the scent of lavender. Use soaps, detergents, shampoo,etc. Put dryer sheets in kids pockets. I really like Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Soap. This soap made out of all natural ingredients and is very versatile. See this soap’s multipe uses at the end of this article.

  • For Laundry- 1/3 cup soap in large load. Add 1/2 cup vinegar in rise cycle
  • Body Wash: one small squirt applied to wet hands or loofah
  • For Shaving
  • Other uses for Dr. Bronner Lavender Soap (good to have this smell in your home)
    • All Purpose Cleaner: add 1/4 cup of soap to quart of water in spray bottle
    • Dishes: Dilute 1:10 with water for hand-washed dishes.
    • Fruit & Veggie Wash: A dash in bowl f water to remove reside
  • Use dried lavender sachets in clothing drawers.

  • Treat your shoes. Your feet is where ticks usually first come in contact with you.
    • Spray BUG OFF on your shoes & you can also use it as an air freshener, on your bedroom sheets and pillow, in your hair body spray and clothing spray. When applying to your skin, shake well before EACH spray. Spray into hands and then run onto skin. When applying to hair, clothes etc: Shake well before EACH spray and spray. BUG OFF is non greasy so is perfect for this!
  • For a stronger clothing repellent- use permethrin (use monthly) to ward off ticks and killing any that come in contact with your clothing. You can purchase impregnated permethrin clothing or do it yourself. This is not all natural.
  • Avoid sitting on the ground or on stone walls. Avoid where ticks live: tall grasses, stay in the center of paths, etc.
  • If you are going in a wooded area, wear pants and sneakers. Tuck socks into pants.

Tips for the yard:

  • Wood Chip Border: Ticks will rarely cross a 3 foot wood chip border, use liberally around your property
  • Cedar Mulch & Bags of Cypress. Buy Both and Mix them
  • INSECTICIDES: Treat your property with a product called “Damminix”. This consists of cardboard tubes containing cotton balls that have been dipped in insecticide. Place these tubes around your property in the wooded areas and below shrubs.
  • Mice transmit the most ticks that make people sick. Prevent Mice with these tips:
    • Use Damminix and Permethrin on cotton balls. Use cotton balls in/near mice burrows around yard.
  • Prevent Deer from entering property with a tall fence
  • Remove wood piles, rock walls, and bird feeders as these attract tick-carrying animals and can increase the risk of acquiring Lyme.
  • A 3-foot wood chip border around your yard helps prevent tick spread.
  • Get your yard sprayed. There are companies in the Hamptons and other parts of Long Island offering Organic Pesticides
  • Plant Lavender plants around your yard.

 

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Expertise in coaching may become exceptionally handy to turn within an app for research positions.

Take note of the crucial makes which you feel should enter the essay. When you first complete the essay, believe that you just’re merely midway. The article has to be written about something exceptional, so as to stick out from hundreds of different applicants. Continue reading Expertise in coaching may become exceptionally handy to turn within an app for research positions.

Posted on Leave a comment

Earthing/Grounding

Now that Spring is here, do you have any new goals set in accordance with the nice weather? Have you ever heard of Grounding or Earthing? One of my goals for the spring is to spend at least 15 minutes a day in nature on the days  I am not in the city. ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀

What is Earthing?

According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, DO, walking barefoot on the earth can have many benefits. The body can obtain electrons by being in contact with the Earth. These electrons have antioxidant effects which can reduce inflammation in the body & can make the immune system function optimally. When you are in direct contact with the ground (walking, sitting, or laying down on the earth’s surface) the earth’s electrons are conducted to your body, bringing it to the same electrical potential as the earth. Modern lifestyle separates humans from physical contact with the earth. Research suggests that this disconnect may be a major contributor to physiological dysfunction and a lack of well being. ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀

Some other benefits include: IMG-2793

  • Reducing chronic pain
  • Improving sleep
  • Relieving muscle tension and headaches.
  • Improving menstrual and female hormone symptoms
  • Speeding the healing process.
  • Improve blood pressure and cardiovascular arrhythmias
  • Improve autoimmune conditions

Allegedly, many on the Tour de France,(e.g. Lance Armstrong) used an earthing recovery bag to speed recovery and increase their quality of sleep while on this endurance race.

It make sense that the more humans are connected to nature, the better we feel.  This is true for me. Do you think this could be one of the reasons people sleep better while at the beach? ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀

There are reviews on amazon from the book “Earthing, The Most Important Health Discovery Ever” which I read through. People wrote about how grounding has changed them for the better. If you are interested, consider reading through some!


References:

Chevalier, et al. “Earthing: Health Implications of Reconnecting the Human Body to the Earth’s Surface Electrons.” Journal of Environmental and Public Health, Hindawi, 12 Jan. 2012, www.hindawi.com/journals/jeph/2012/291541/?hc_location=ufi.

Posted on Leave a comment

Chromotherapy/Color Therapy

How appealing does this Infrared Sauna look right now in this cold April New York weather? Have you ever heard of Color Therapy or Chromotherapy? Chromotherapy is used in NAO Wellness’s Infrared Saunas in order for users to reap benefits of both the sauna and chromotherapy at the same time. NAO Wellness is a wellness sanctuary located on a beautiful street in the West Village. They offer nutrition counseling and food intolerance testing, reiki, chiropractic care, host wellness workshops and events, have infrared saunas and are currently working on a room for sound healing and other holistic services. IMG-2851

There are so many benefits of using an Infrared Sauna alone including detoxification, muscle and joint pain relief, increase of circulation, reduce inflammation, lowering of blood pressure, weight loss and skin purification. If you would like to learn more about the benefits of Infrared Saunas  you can check out my previous post here.

IMG-2855

Chromotherapy is a method of treatment that uses the colors of electromagnetic radiation to cure diseases. It has health, emotional and cosmetic benefits.

Ancient observation chromotherapy is a centuries-old concept. It was practiced in ancient Egypt, Greece, China and by the Mayans. The Egyptians utilized sunlight as well as color for healing. Color has been investigated as medicine since 2000 BC.

Color psychology and medicine were substantially tested by Robert Gerard, Ph.D., of UCLA in the 1950’s. He analyzed the area of light, color and their psychophysiological imprints. He tested the reactions of the entire body with colored light beamed onto the skin of the subject. Gerard’s data showed that all colors affect the human both psychologically and physiologically.

Warm colors: Warm colors showed a consistently pronounced pattern of stimulation. Warm colors helped those with reactive depression or neurasthenia. They increased muscle tone or blood pressure in hypertensive individuals.  Exposure to warm colors increased respiratory movements, frequency of eye blinks, cortical activation and palmar conductance (arousal of the autonomic nervous system).

Cool colors:  Cool colors showed a consistent pattern of relaxation.  Anxious subjects were calmed by these cooler colors, lowering blood pressure, providing relief from tension, alleviating muscle spasms and reducing eye blink frequency. They also proved to be an aid for insomnia.

If you are interested in reading more about the specific light color benefits, check out the image below. In the sauna, you have the choice to choose a color to stick with or you can have the light system rotating automatically through each color during your session.

IMG-2859

For more, check out my Instagram @dshamptonorganics


References:

Azeemi, Samina T. Yousuf, and Mohsin Raza. “A Critical Analysis of Chromotherapy and Its Scientific Evolution.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2, no. 4, 2 Dec. 2005, pp. 481–488., doi:10.1093/ecam/neh137.

NAO Wellness. “Infrared Sauna.” NAO Wellness, naowellness.com/.

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Flow State: Harnessing Altered States To Achieve Excellence

Recently, I sat in on a lecture at The Farm Soho, in New York City, hosted by Vitamin R Studios. With seven panelists we spoke about “flow state”, which could be more commonly understood as being “in the zone”.

With so many distractions today, especially with the technology of cell phones, computers and social media, I find it more difficult now than it was before these technological advances to be able to stay fully focused.

Flow is a mental state in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the tasks at hand or activity.

Speakers at the event included: David Straus – Tech CEO, Author and Fortune 500 Purpose Coach, Nitin Ron – Dr. of Neonatology, Expert Surgeon on Premature Babies, Meditation Researcher. Casey Supple – Award Winning Fundraiser, Global Philanthropy-Super-Connector and Meditation Teacher, Anita Teresa Boeninger – Founder of the Sex & Medicine Summit and the Embodied Femme and Justin Ritchie – Professional Poker Player turned Master Yoga Teacher and Whole-Life Mentor Exploring Neuroscientific Consciousness.

Dr. Nitin Ron was asked what is flow state for you?

Nitin explains the process of when he is called into the Intensive Care Unit in the operating room of premature babies and saves a baby that was born without a heartbeat. In the moment of taking the laryngoscope to see the very tiny vocal cords and inserting the premature baby breathing tube (which is 1mm by 1mm) into the vocal cords, he is in his flow state. If he misses, by 1mm, he will not succeed. During this process, he takes a deep breath and releases all attachment of failure and success and is just in the moment. He states that there is no distinction between him and the baby, that he is one with the baby. The moment that he gives back a baby with a heart beat to their mother, there is one second the mother looks at him with utter love and utter surrender. This is the flow state that people need to be in.

Nitin was asked, what puts you in a flow state? One way Nitin is able to achieve flow state is by having utter self acceptance of himself. Trying to discover himself in the Himalayan cave for 10 days. He climbed this mountain 4 times. He isolated himself in the cave in the process of trying to discover himself. He mentioned how one of the scariest things in the world while being the cave is yourself. While being in the cave alone, he went into the deepest places of his mind. There has to be utter self surrender and utter self acceptance of yourself. The biggest lesson he learned this time in the Himalayas was about self compassion. If you can not love yourself, you cannot love others.

Another way Nitin is able to help him achieve flow state is by expressing love and compassion. While meditating, there was a wild mountain dog, (closer to the wolf family than the dog family) in the Himalayan mountains next to him growling. Nitin calmed him down by putting his hands on his shoulders. The dog stayed with him for 10 days and protected him from the mountain bears. He explains that if you have love this will break every boundary and barrier.

A third way Nitin is able to be in a flow state is by putting an active effort in appreciating being in the present moment. He explains that most of us could possibly learn this principle from premature babies. He states how around six weeks of being in the ICU, the babies tend to let out a large, genuine smile. They don’t think “oh i am a premature baby”. Instead, are living in the moment. Nitin advises to not let the past come into the present because it is water under the bridge. Learn from your past but after that, let go.

You can check out the full video here:

Posted on Leave a comment

Reiki for Healing

Reiki is a spiritual, vibrational healing art used to promote balance in the human body with its roots in Japanese origin. The word Reiki comes from the Japanese word (Rei) which means “Universal Life” and (Ki) which means “Energy”. It is believed that a person’s “ki” or energy should be strong and free flowing. When this is true, a person’s body and mind are in a positive state of health. When the energy becomes blocked, it could lead to symptoms of physical or emotional imbalance.

A Reiki session is typically 60-90 minutes. Prior to the session, The Reiki Practitioner and client will usually discuss any particular problem or issue they are experiencing and ask them what they are hoping to achieve from their session. The last Reiki session I went to was a little over a year ago. Prior to the session, the practitioner mixed cards which I then pulled out from the deck. These cards were supposed to be relevant to my life. The cards I pulled are the ones shown on the photo to the right. We also went over the different chakras of the body and meanings associated with each.

During the session, the client will rest comfortably on a massage table on their back with their shoes removed. The Practitioner may apply a light touch during the session, hold their hands slightly above your body. A recipient of Reiki might feel a warming sensation or a tingling during the session or nothing at all but sheer relaxation. I had a large sense of emotion during the session and while the practitioners hands were hovering over me, I felt a heavy push of energy from her hands. The practitioner went over each chakra & my throat chakra felt specifically heavy. I also did Reiki a year prior to that a few times with a different practitioner and I felt very relaxed during the session and almost fell asleep.  This Reiki practitioner in particular was supposedly psychic. During the session she was speaking to me about whatever came to her while putting her hands over my body. A lot of it did not make sense at the time, but looking back, some of the things she was saying makes more sense now. I felt very overwhelmed after the session.

Reiki is a tool for stress reduction, relaxation and wellness. Reiki is not a cure for a disease or illness, but it may assist the body in creating an environment to facilitate healing.

It is interesting, I was watching this video on Reiki and it asks if you have a headache, stomach ache, or pain elsewhere most people’s reaction is to place their hands on the corresponding area.”Reiki amplifies and intensifies the power of touch”.

Our bodies are made up of energy. We exist in a universe of energy. This concept may be hard to understand for some people at first because we aren’t really taught this in school. However, everything in this world is essentially energy. For example, the difference between hot and cold water is energy right?

This photo was taken at Goddess Sanctuary & Spa in Mineola, Long Island. They also have Full & New Moon Meditation classes. If you go to my Instagram, @dshamptonorganics to this photo you can see some informative comments of people commenting about their (positive) experience with reiki.