August 19, 2011


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The longer I am on my health regimen, the more I'm convinced of the effectiveness of the raw food diet, and vegetarianism generally. Many people feel like raw fooding is too extreme for them, and I can definitely see that point of view, since I had it myself. But, as I went in and out of raw fooding for several years, I've discovered that my whole approach to eating has changed, and my tastes have changed along with it.

There's a great video summary in an interview with the outspoken vegetarian advocate, Andreas Moritz. If you're looking for some supporting information to help you make the transition to vegetarianism, this is a great video to watch.

My friend, Kathy Freston, who writes regularly for the Huffington Post also has some hard-hitting facts about mindful vegetarianism and how it helps not only personal health, but the environment as well.

To me living a vibrant life has to do with doing what's best for yourself, so that you can be a committed example to your family, friends and community. We all know what we should be doing to lead healthy, productive lives...it's really no mystery. The trick is rather than feeling guilty or sheepish, just get out there, and start doing it. Start small, but start. And if you've already started, find how to do more of it.

This week, we once again welcome Boyd Martin's passionate article, "You Are the Healer," some great feng shui prosperity advice from Gwynne Warner, and our Vibrant Living Tip of Week about mindfulness.

Until next time...

In vibrant health,

Shay Arave, President


You Are the Healer

healing I usually get really fired up when the subject of corporate medicine violating personal power comes up. But, I admirably held my tongue the other day, when a musician friend of mine came into a gig all stooped over, in obvious pain, looking pale and weak. From years of abusing his own health, he has ended up at age 52 with degenerated lumbar discs, which cause him so much pain, his doctor has him on a daily regimen of morphine. It had been valium, but after a while that wasn't doing anything for him except making him sicker, so in all medical wisdom his doctor simply prescribed something way stronger. >>>> MORE


Money Tree

3 coins There is an old Chinese legend about a money tree that has branches of coins and gold. When you shake the money tree, the gold falls like rain from Heaven. In Malaysia the Chinese put out Money Trees on the second day of the celebrations of the Chinese New Year. Traditionally, one would use a kumquat (this is what business owners should use), a bushy pine, cypress tree or lucky bamboo plant that's nestled inside a porcelain pot filled with five grains, including rice. Red melon seeds and pine nuts are sprinkled over the top of the rice and grains. If you don't have a tree, you could also use gold branches and secured with the grains in a large vase.

Now you get to decorate! Start with sparkling fairy lights or strings of electric red lanterns. Then add: Feng Shui Coins hung by red thread or ribbon as if dripping off the tree Lucky Red Envelopes with images of gold ingots, Wealth God, and coins and filled with real money [hung by red thread through a hole-punch at top of envelope] Red lanterns Gold ingots Gold and silver coin garlands made of paper Symbols of long life (paper cranes and deer) Top with Liu Hai, a Taoist God of Wealth or the character for Happiness

Once you have your tree, you can do this very powerful visualization. Imagine your own Money Tree in your garden and whenever you need cash, all you need to do is shake the tree and money notes will fall off, creating a windfall of prosperity! Get some of the above items here -- Gwynne Warner, 10,000 Blessings Feng Shui


The Power of Being Present

present Practice, practice, and being present will become natural. Here's how to do it: whatever you're doing, right now, learn to focus completely on doing that one thing. Pay attention: to every aspect of what you're doing, to your body, to the sensations, to your thoughts. You will notice your thoughts, if you're paying attention, jump to other things. That's OK - you are not trying to force all other thoughts from your mind. But by becoming aware of that jumping around in your thoughts, you have found the tool for gently bringing yourself back to your present task. Just notice the jumping thoughts, and lovingly come back.

Do this once, then do it again. Don't worry about how many times you must do it. Just do it now. It can become tiring at first, if you're not used to it. Don't worry about that. Let yourself rest if you grow tired. Come back and practice again in a little while. It's not meant to be exhausting - instead you should notice how your worries melt away and you enjoy your present task much more. Be joyful in whatever you're doing, grateful that you're able to do that task, and fully appreciate every little movement and tactile sensation of the task. You'll learn that anything can be an amazing experience, anything can be a miracle.

Practice throughout your day, every day. Little "mindfulness bells" are useful to remind you to come back to the present. Vietnamese Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, once recommended that stoplights be your mindfulness bell as you drive. You can find mindfulness bells everywhere: your child's voice, your co-workers appearing before you, a regular event on your computer, the noise of traffic.

Meditation is a fantastic way to practice, only because it removes much of the complexity of the world and allows you to just learn to be aware of your mind, and to bring yourself back to the present moment. It's not complicated: meditation can be done anywhere, anytime. A meditation teacher is useful if you can find one. Practice, repeatedly, in small easy beautiful steps. Each step is a wonder in itself, and each practice helps you to find that calm in the middle of the traffic of your life.

"Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis
on which the world earth revolves - slowly, evenly, without
rushing toward the future. Live the actual moment.
Only this moment is life." ~Thich Nhat Hanh

>>>> MORE Thanks to Leo Babuata, Zen Habits


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