Essential Oils 101 (An Introduction to Essential Oils)

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Learn about Essential Oils in Portland, Oregon

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Did you know that Essential Oils have been around since 1500 B.C. ?

Did you know that in the Bible there are over 600 references to essential oils and/or aromatic plants?

Are we made of Stardust? Cont’d – an excerpt from the book “Why Me?”

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Are we made of Stardust? Cont’d

I remember many, many a night staying up reading, in fact devouring information about the universe and endless discussions with my partner Foad about Quantum Physics and Humanity. We comforted each-other and escaped into a different world in the midst of his own country in turmoil and his father tortured in Iran and losing my mother around bizarre controversy. For five years, our lives were filled with Art, Music and Books and our minds were expanding at a rapid rate.

After my mother’s death, I was searching for answers about death and became curious about LSD,  a  psychedelic drug, well known for its psychological effects, altered thinking processes, closed- and open-eye visuals, synesthesia, an altered sense of time and spiritual experiences, as well as for its key role in 1960s counterculture.

I started reading numerous books and articles by people who had had experimented with LSD like British intellectual Aldous Huxley, Italian film director Federico Fellini, Bill Gates, Allen Ginsberg. Steve Jobs, Bill Wilson, the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous and many more. Huxley was one of the most important figures in the early history of LSD. He was a figure of high repute and famous through his novels Crome Yellow, Antic Hay and his dystopian novel Brave New World. His experiments with psychedelic drugs (initially mescaline) and his descriptions of them in his writings did much to spread awareness of psychedelic drugs to the general public and arguably helped to glamorize their recreational use, although Huxley himself treated them very seriously.

Unfortunately, the CIA misused LSD and  later came to dominate many of MKUltra’s programs – sometimes referred to as the CIA’s mind control program — is the code name of  a U.S. Government human research operation experimenting in the behavioral human research. The CIA wanted to know if they could make Russian spies defect against their will and whether the Russians could do the same to their own subjects. The experiments included administering LSD to mental patients, prisoners, drug addicts and prostitutes, “people who could not fight back,” as one agency officer put it. In one case LSD was administered to a mental patient in Kentucky for 174 days. LSD was also administered to CIA employees, military personnel, doctors, other government agents, and members of the general public in order to study their reactions. LSD and other drugs were usually administered without the subject’s knowledge or informed consent, a violation of the Nuremberg Code that the U.S. agreed to follow after World War II. The aim of this was to find drugs which would irresistibly bring out deep confessions or wipe a subject’s mind clean and program him or her as “a robot agent.”

In Operation Midnight Climax, the CIA set up several brothels in San Francisco, California to obtain a selection of men who would be too embarrassed to talk about the events. The men were dosed with LSD, the brothels were equipped with one-way mirrors, and the sessions were filmed for later viewing and study. In other experiments where people were given LSD without their knowledge, they were interrogated under bright lights with doctors in the background taking notes. The subjects were told that their “trips” would be extended indefinitely if they refused to reveal their secrets. The people being interrogated this way were CIA employees, U.S. military personnel, and agents suspected of working for the other side in the Cold War. Long-term debilitation and several deaths resulted from this. Heroin addicts were bribed into taking LSD with offers of more heroin.

Some psychiatrists believed LSD was especially useful at helping patients to “unblock” repressed subconscious material through other psychotherapeutic methods, and also for treating alcoholism. One study concluded, “The root of the therapeutic value of the LSD experience is its potential for producing self-acceptance and self-surrender,” presumably by forcing the user to face issues and problems in that individual’s psyche

LSD was made popular, through a style of rock music that is inspired or influenced by psychedelic culture and attempts to replicate and enhance the mind-altering experiences of psychedelic drugs. It often uses new recording techniques and effects and draws on non-Western sources such as the ragas and drones of Indian music. It was pioneered by musicians including the Beatles, the Byrds, and the Yardbirds, emerging as a genre during the mid-1960s among folk rock and blues rock bands in the United Kingdom and United States, such as Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Cream, the Doors and Pink Floyd. It reached a peak in between 1967 and 1969 with the Summer of Love and Woodstock Rock Festival, respectively, becoming an international musical movement and associated with a widespread counterculture, before beginning a decline as changing attitudes, the loss of some key individuals and a back-to-basics movement, led performers to move into new musical areas.

My personal experience with LSD was profound, enlightening and transformational – it gave me answers about life and death.  Luckily,  I did not need to explore this further and once was enough.

Are we made of Stardust? An excerpt from the book “Why Me?”

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Are we made of Stardust?

My Persian husband Foad was studying Natural Science in London when I met him in 1979. He was a genius child playing chess at age 8, winning and competing against adults and he was the first person who introduced me to Quantum Mechanics and the idea that an atom is mostly space.

First of all, atoms are ridiculously small – they’re about one tenth of a millionth of a millimeter across. That means that a human hair, one of the narrowest things visible to the eye is around a million atoms across. Put another way, there are more atoms in a glass of water than glasses of water in all the oceans in the world. And the story gets really strange. An atom isn’t just tiny, it’s over 99.9% empty space. All the weight of an atom is concentrated in a mind-numbingly tiny object at its center. It’s a trillionth of a centimeter across and is called the nucleus. The rest of the atom is entirely empty apart from a few ghostly objects called electrons that skim about at a great distance from the nucleus.

To give you a sense of how empty an atom is – if the nucleus was the size of a football, the nearest electron would be half a mile away. That means even the most solid-looking objects we see are predominantly nothingness. Put another way, if you were to remove all the empty space in the atoms that make up a human being, he or she would be a lot smaller than a grain of salt.

If you removed all the empty space from the atoms that make up all the humans on the planet, then you could fit all 6 billion of us inside a single apple.

This astonishing discovery that atoms are mainly empty was made in 1909 at Manchester University by the indefatigable Ernest Rutherford. Rutherford had great courage as a scientist and was prepared to fly in the face of convention. So when he announced that the atom was mainly empty, he did so knowing his claim flatly contradicted the then known laws of physics. These demanded that all atoms collapse instantly. It was a seismic moment in the history of science. Forced to explain the atom’s mysterious emptiness, scientists had to throw out everything they had believed to be true for the previous two centuries. Their response was to invent an entirely new science, which we now call Quantum Mechanics.

The strangest and most disturbing fact that scientists uncovered while investigating the atom was a law called the “Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle”.

In a nutshell, this states that atoms are in more than one place at the same time until a conscious observer looks at them.

Think about this for a moment – if no-one’s looking at the atoms that, say, make up your foot, they’re effectively spread out across the entire Universe. Then when someone, maybe even you, looks at your foot, the atoms instantly coalesce into the foot-like shape you’re familiar with. Of course, this is an extreme example. We know that once trillions of atoms bind together to make up everyday objects, like your foot, they stop behaving in a weird spread-out way but no one really knows when and how they switch from one state to the other. The point is, it seems arbitrary where we draw the line between the strangeness of the atomic realm and the commonsense world of our senses.

I thought about this for many years and became more and more convinced that there was a way to clear old emotional patterns on an atomic level through light and sound frequency and that we are not stuck with the imprinting of our ancestral journey, but how?

If ideas like this make your head hurt, don’t worry. Even Albert Einstein, who as a young man pioneered atomic physics, was horrified by the idea that we somehow “invent” the Universe every time we look at it. He said: “I like to think that the Moon is there even if I am not looking at it.”

Right Sizing with Chi-Builder

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Living Social deal. Find Petra Nicoll – Woodland, Lake Oswego, Roseburg and Medford!

“Right-Sizing with Chi-Builder” is a program that gets results fast.. Come find out how and join us for an all day Chi-Building Day with Petra Nicoll, Life Style Coach. Her experiences of owning a Health Food Restaurant and working with many, many people over a period of 25 years in the Health Food/Spiritual Community will give you some clear insight into how YOU can become a more energetic and healthy person.

Whats included:

3 Chi-Sessions
Sound Therapy/Movie
Reiki/Sound Healing
Dry Brushing
Rebounder Exercises
Meditation
Essential Oils
Electrolyte Water
Fresh Juice or Smoothie
Cold Treatment
Bring Towel and Bathing Suit.

Far-Infrared Benefits:

Pain Relief
Stress Relief
Detoxification of the Body
Cardiovascular Health & Increases Blood Flow
Tissue Elasticity & Joint Stiffness
Skin Beautification
Weight Loss
Menopausal Symptoms

Accident in Mexico with Famous Shaman “Madre Sarita” an excerpt of my Book “Why Me”?

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She said: “Tonight you will have a dream, and in the dream your lungs will be cleared.” It made sense because I was in a coma, that my lungs were always the most challenged part of my body. I believe and know now with every fiber in my being that every physical issue or disease inherently has an emotional component attached to it.

After my treatment she spoke to me about the future of the planet. The year was 1994. She said that there is much sorrow ahead of us, and that at the turn of the century there would be a very tall statue, building or buildings in New York that would fall and that would be the beginning of much unrest and war. She said everything would change after that. Of course I didn’t know that she was talking about the Twin Towers but I remember exactly where I was when I was told that the Twin Towers had fallen and thousands of people died. I felt shivers down my spine and I realized that some of the information Madre gave me that day may also have been true. I honestly dismissed some of it because it was too far from my reality of what I could digest. She said that many Tsunamis and Earthquakes will come and that the entire coast of California will be gone. That there are many UFO ships on standby to evacuate people and that these ships are hidden from our sight in a fourth dimensional field not visible to the human eye and that my partner and I should move inland Mexico and get ready for this. Of course we went back to the US and my partner Chris died in a car crash in 2002.

Ever since meeting Madre Sarita, I have have been wondering when I will be led back to Mexico and I wanted to find and talk to Don Miguel Ruiz about his Grandmother and the things she spoke of. After all, I had been reading “The Four Agreements” and many of Miguel Ruiz’s books for years.

Just a little history of Don Miguel here:

From an early age, Miguel was called upon to translate Madre Sarita’s prayers, lectures and workshops from Spanish into English. In this way, through constant repetition and review, he learned the content of her teachings in both languages. Through interpreting for Madre Sarita, don Miguel Jr. came to understand the power of faith. He saw first-hand how she manifested her intent to heal people, both physically and spiritually. Don Miguel Jr.’s apprenticeship lasted 10 years. When he reached his mid-20′s, his father intensified his training. At the apex of this power journey don Miguel said to his eldest son, “Find your way out. Go home and master Death by becoming alive.” Don Miguel Jr. is married and has two young children. And so, as a Nagual he begins once again to pass along the wisdom and the tools of his family’s traditions in helping others to achieve their own personal freedom and optimal physical and spiritual health. Miguel Jr. has taken the lessons of his father and grandmother and discovered his own personal freedom. Being able to apply his teachings to the world around him gave Miguel Jr. a new understanding of the lessons his father and grandmother had passed onto him, once again giving him the desire to pass on his beliefs.

After decades of training, Miguel Jr. was finally ready to share everything he had learned. As a Nagual, he now helps others discover optimal physical and spiritual health, so that they may achieve their own personal freedom. For the past six years, don Miguel Jr. has applied the lessons learned from his father and grandmother to define and enjoy his own personal freedom while achieving peace with all of creation.

The Great Death and Mikao Usui

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It is said that when Mikao Usui, the founder of the system of Reiki, asked his teacher about his spiritual progress, his teacher said, “You have to die once.” Usui-san took this advice and sat on Mt. Kurama for 21 days to meditate to die once.

Some people suggest that he meant to physically die, but if that were the case it would have been much easier for him to climb Mt. Kurama and jump off a cliff, rather than to sit for a difficult practice for 21 days.

But if it was not the physical death that his teacher pointed to, what kind of death was it then?

In Japanese spiritual traditions ‘to die once’ means to go through the Great Death (in Japanese, Daishi) so that we are able to rediscover our True Self.

Mikao Usui’s memorial stone states, “One day, he climbed kurama yama and after 21 days of a severe discipline without eating, he suddenly felt One Great Reiki over his head and attained enlightenment and he obtained Reiki Ryoho.” The purpose of this “severe discipline” was to help him “die once” so that he could rediscover his True Self/Reiki. It was this Great Death experience that preceded his creation of the spiritual system of Reiki. It was after this experience that he really found purpose in his life and started to teach more and more people his spiritual teachings.

Is it possible to really live our lives fully without ever looking hard at death? I do not believe it is. Without staring death in the eye, as the perpetual reverse side of life, we cannot live life fully and completely.

From: Novice to Master: An Ongoing Lesson in the Extent of My Own Stupidity by Soko Morinaga

It is possible that Usui-san was practicing Shugendo. Within Shugendo there is a very specific 21-day mountain practice in which you abstain from eating (in Japanese, danjiki) and drinking (in Japanese, mizudachi). This practice is suitable only for the rare, dedicated and prepared practitioner, called 餌食水无 読誦 修行 / だんじき みず なし どくじゅ しゅぎょう – Danjiki-Mizunachi dokuju Shûgyô. One of my teachers has done this specific 21-day Shugendo practice. This is one of the reasons I train with these kinds of teachers, so that I can understand what Usui-san was doing himself so that I can share his ideas, insights and practices within the wider Reiki community.

What is even more interesting is that during this particular 21-day practice the practitioner focuses also on the deity Myoken Bosatsu. Myoken Bosatsu is linked to Mikao Usui’s family. We can see this by looking at Mikao Usui’s family crest, the Chiba Mon. Did Usui-san choose this particular practice because of his family heritage? Myoken Bosatsu is also related to having certain healing qualities and holds a sun and moon in her hands. Healing is a central focus of the system of Reiki and we can see the sun and moon within the Shinpiden Reiki Level III symbol and mantra.

The whole universe s
hatters into a hundred pieces.
In the great death there is no heaven and earth
Once body and mind have turned over
there is only this to say:
Past mind cannot be grasped,
present mind cannot be grasped,
future mind cannot be grasped. -

Dogen

The state of mind Dogen refers to is called the Great Death because it is the death of the ego, the death of the “I.” If we want to take our spiritual practice deeper, then one day we need to go through the progress of letting go of the “I”, because it is only at that stage that we can rediscover our True Self. When we let go of the “I,” of our dualistic life of separateness and suffering, we start to find the meaning of life: a life full of compassion and wisdom, a life of interconnectedness and harmony, a life full of light and inner joy.

For many years before his Mt. Kurama experience, Usui-san sought Anshin Ritsumei: enlightenment or satori. He finally realized that to attain this goal he needed to go through the Great Death experience, because it is only after going through the Great Death that Anshin Ritsumei will show its face. Therefore we could say that the Great Death is the gate through which we enter the state of mind of enlightenment. This state of mind is all about realizing non-duality, which is the ultimate reality.

Hakuin suggests that satori is necessarily preceded by ‘great doubt’ (daigi) and ‘great death’ (daishi). The practitioner has to be able and willing to let go of all securities and beliefs and throw himself or herself into the abyss of emptiness. Hakuin urges the practitioner to abandon all discriminating thoughts, to form the ‘ball of doubt’ (gidan), and to penetrate the One Mind. This, Hakuin says, is the experience of ‘great death’.

After experiencing this One Mind on Mt. Kurama, Usui-san created a system of teachings to help others also find the way to experience the Great Death. We can see that he was pointing out the Great Death in his teachings, for example within the precepts and the symbols and mantras.

The precepts are:

Do not anger
Do not worry
Be humble
Be honest
Show compassion to yourself and others

It is only when we have let go of the “I” that we can truly embody the precepts. Because it is the “I” who gets angry and worried, it is the “I” who is in the way of being humble, honest, and compassionate. Thus the precepts are pointing towards Mikao Usui’s own enlightened experience, the Great Death. So actually this Great Death is about gratitude for life, to live life at its fullest because when we have let go of our biggest worry, fear of death, we are free, free to dance through life. It is at this stage that we really start to transform our lives and those of others.

Usui-san also showed some of his students the DKM symbol/mantra, which stands for the great bright light of Anshin Ritsumei, again pointing towards the Great Death. He included all these pointers in his teachings because it is only after the Great Death that we truly become alive. The following quotes powerfully illustrate the transformation into our True Self:

After several days in his [Hakuin] condition, which he also later designated as the “Great Death” and interpreted as the dying of the ego and illusion. He recounted how he “chanced to hear the sound of the temple bell and…was suddenly transformed. It was as if a sheet of ice had been smashed or a jade tower had fallen with a crash. Suddenly I returned to my senses…All my former doubts vanished as though ice had melted away. In a loud voice I called: ‘Wonderful! Wonderful!’

From: Once-Born, Twice-Born Zen: The Soto and Rinzai Schools of Japan by Conrad Hyers

Suddenly, under some impetus unknown to me, the fog lifted and vanished. And it is not that the pain in my own body disappeared, but rather that the body that is supposed to feel the pain disappeared. Everything was utterly clear. Even in the dimly lit darkness, things could be seen in a fine clarity. The faintest sound could be heard distinctly, but the hearing self was not there. This was, I believe, to die while alive.

From: Novice to Master: An Ongoing Lesson in the Extent of My Own Stupidity by Soko Morinaga

Mikao Usui was only able to create the system of Reiki after going through the Great Death experience because it was only then that he had the clarity, wisdom, and compassion to formulate what he had been looking for himself in some sort of teaching. These teachings are the legacy of his own satori and by practicing the system of Reiki as a spiritual practice we are stepping into the footsteps of Mikao Usui, so that one day we can go through the same gate of the Great Death that Mikao Usui went though.

I cannot stress enough that the ultimate goal of religion, whether we call it satori or peace of mind, is for each individual to live in peace and tranquility, to live a full and satisfying life.

Accident in Mexico, cont. An Excerpt of “Why Me?”

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Smilingly, Madre asked me why I was so afraid to come see her and that she and her assistant Coco did not bite! I asked her how she knew that. She said: “We knew you were coming, your Spiritual Teacher with the White Turban had already been here and told us!” I finally relaxed!

You must understand that on the path of the Masters “Sant Mat” any kind of healing, pranayama, laying on of hands were forbidden. It was a very strict and monastic path and not many people were able to handle the rigorous discipline of meditation. I believed with all my heart that I was in the highest of violations by going to see this healer.

The beginning of my treatment was very strange indeed!

Madre Sarita used a real life egg that she rolled all over my body, and it apparently took on the physical, astral and causal imprint of the body. Then she cracked the egg in a glass of water, the egg yolk sank to the bottom of the glass representing the physical and the egg white trapped in the water above represented the astral and causal Body. Then she read my body through the egg white and the egg yolk the physical, and she could see what was broken. She said: “I can see the pancreas, the broken ribs, your kidneys are bruised and here is the spiritual body” and this is where it gets really freaky. Are you ready for this?

She said that meditating for over decade and for so many hours each day, I had in fact disconnected from truly living and that I was extremely sad inside.

She then performed psychic surgery on me!

I could literally feel her hand going inside of my body and it felt as though a warm energy had entered into my body system moving things around where my C-Section incision had been. She went into my spine, and Coco kept on translating “Oh there is a little scoliosis, lets go fix that” ! I felt the warm energy moving around in my spine, up and down several times.

For years and years I had scoliosis and my mother used to take me twice a week to therapy to improve the curvature of my spine. Then she said: “you know you aren’t really here for broken ribs, you are here because of your lungs. What did that mean? She went on to say: “You have such deep, deep sadness inside of you which has to do with your Mother’s death and your lungs are infected. You were very close to dying. She said that my Guru basically arranged this accident for me so that I would come to see her and that after this treatment I will never be sick again. She then handed me a tall, slender little bottle with a picture of a lizard on it with instruction for the medicine to be taken three times a day for two weeks. She gave me three cotton balls that I had to spit into in the night and bury in the morning. This was Shamanism at its best!