Archive for the ‘meditation’ Category

Pembroke Springs Retreat – Japan meets the country Bed & Breakfast

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

A weekend getaway is a great way to unwind and reenergize. A popular alternative to the traditional hotel is a Bed & Breakfast. Bed and Breakfasts often provide a much homier feel as well as personal touches and attention. Nestled on 175 acres of beautiful forest and surrounded by mountains is The Pembroke Springs Retreat.  Located in Star Tannery, Virginia, this serene B&B provides a country feel with distinctive touches of Japan.

The Retreat features five rooms, each with gorgeous mountain views.  Each room is decorated in a separate theme and has its own bathroom.  Guests are provided Yukata (Japanese bathrobes) to enjoy during their stay.  In the morning guests are treated to an authentic Japanese breakfast. This typically includes grilled fish, rice, seaweed, vegetables, egg, miso soup and fruit.  Guests may request an American style breakfast and the innkeepers will accommodate vegans.

During the day, guests can enjoy nature walks on the miles of trails on the property, observing the abundant wildlife and taking in the amazing views of the mountains.  Play a game of tennis on the all-weather tennis court or fish in the pond for bluegill and bass. The area is rich in history, from both the French and Indian wars to the Civil War.   There are endless antique stores in nearby areas.

One of the highlights of the retreat, are the two large Japanese baths which are fed with their natural spring waters. The ofuro has been used by the Japanese for centuries to alleviate both physical and spiritual maladies.  This ancient technique of immersion in hot water removes tensions, stress and soothes muscular pains.

While each of the five rooms has a variance of features, the Sunrise room brings Japan to you.  Facing the east and overlooking the forest, this splendid room features shoji screens, tatami mats and a horigotatsu or sunken table.

While the area hosts a variety of restaurants within a half hour drive, guests won’t want to miss dinner service (check availability). You can view images of the tasty meals presented by an obviously very talented chef on Facebook [www.facebook.com/pages/Pembroke-Springs-Retreat/107360610655]. These dishes are as beautiful to look at as they are delicious.  The innkeepers of this Bed & Breakfast jewel are Walter and Taeko Floyd.  The manager is Lisa Floyd.  To learn more about Pembroke Springs Retreat, visit their website http://pembrokesprings.com.bath

Astrology Soul Coach – Cosmic Dance for August 2013

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

It’s time to shine with the Sun and communicating Mercury both in sunny Leo this month. Leo is the sign of self-confidence and self-expression. Under the influence of Leo we get in touch with our need to be our authentic selves and to be appreciated by others. You don’t’ need to be born under the sign of Leo to help yourself to a heaping helping of attention and recognition.

This month we will also be treated to a New Moon in Leo on August 6th reinforcing our desire to get in touch with the innocent but precocious side of ourselves. The energy of this Lunar Cycle conjures up images of a young Shirley Temple – adorable, talented, outspoken and not afraid to be seen. Now you may not sing and tap dance, but you were born with innate and unique talents that when you allow them to shine, they contribute to the light of all consciousness.

The Full Moon in Leo’s opposing sign Aquarius on August 20th balances the potentially aristocratic Leo energy with a healthy dose of appreciation for differences and the unique qualities of individuals. Ruled by the revolutionary planet Uranus, Aquarius is the  sign of originality, humanitarianism, and social reform.

The first few weeks of August are the perfect time to take a good long look at your environment and think about how your home or office does or does not support your sense of self. What does it say about you? Use the Leo energy of self-expression to rearrange, re-design and re-create your environment to reflect your unique personality. After the Full Moon, take your cue from Aquarius and give away or donate those gently used clothes and home furnishings to a good cause.  Your choices and possessions speak to the world about you. Make sure they are representing your most authentic self!

C.A. Brooks is a clairvoyant astrologer, writer, speaker and coach

You can find her at 12Listen.com and read her weekly astrology column in Mark’s Power Peek at 12House.com. She hosts a daily radio show “A Course in Miracles Daily Lessons” on 12Radio.com at 7am Pacific – 10 Eastern. You can also tune into her weekly Astrology radio program, Simpletales, on 12Radio.com every Tuesday 11am Pacific – 2 Eastern. Leo

ca@cabrooks.com

http://www.facebook.com/cabrooks2

How to Achieve that “Perfect Inner Silence” in Meditation

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

buckwheat hull pillowCountless people have attempted to make meditation a part of their daily routines, but few people actually achieve this. Why is it that some people find it so easy to silence the inner “chatter?” Meditation requires inner silence, but in our multitasking world it can be nearly impossible to get there.

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Eat almonds!

Thursday, July 18th, 2013
Delicious and healthy.

Delicious and healthy.

Almonds are delicious, crunchy morsels, and this alone is reason enough to grab a handful. But almonds are so much more than a tasty snack – they are packed with healthy compounds and a great addition to any diet.  Here’s why:

Almonds are a healthier choice than the ubiquitous peanut, which has held tight to its spot as the favorite nut (peanut butter, peanut snacks, peanut brittle, the list goes on). However, peanuts are acid forming, whereas almonds are alkaline. Some cancer specialists claim that everyone who is diagnosed with cancer has an acid pH. Almonds are also less toxic and less allergenic than peanuts, which are actually legumes, rather than nuts, and therefore can be more challenging to digest.

There are so many wonderful health benefits to eating almonds. They are good sources of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus, which help in bone growth. They can help prevent cholesterol build up in the veins, which reduces risk of heart disease. They are full of vitamin E, which keeps the skin looking young, healthy and soft. Compared with other tree nuts, almonds have more protein ounce for ounce, as well as higher fiber (12% of the daily recommended amount) and calcium.

Practically speaking, almonds are a very handy snack. They are perfectly portable and great for grazing through the day. They also give that sought-after satisfied, full feeling. This is because almonds contain oleic acid, a healthy fat, which helps trigger the small intestine to produce oleoylethanolamide, a component that has been shown to curb hunger pangs.

Almonds are very versatile when it comes to including them in your diet. They can be eaten as sweets or savories, at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Almond butter (ideally, raw organic) is a delicious add-in to a morning smoothie or stirred into an oat, amaranth or millet porridge. Almonds can be flaked or chopped and sprinkled over muesli. One delectable savory dish that incorporates almonds is the Moroccan pastilla, which is a spiced vegetable and ground almond parcel, wrapped in filo pastry.

Almonds can be used in a variety of dessert recipes, still offering all the health benefits of this nut, wrapped in a decadent package. For baked goods, almond flour or ground almond can be used as a flour replacement for gluten free and paleo recipes. Many health food enthusiasts make their own variations of bliss balls, which are dried fruits and nuts, seeds, and oats, all blended together and rolled into balls. Bliss balls are perfect natural energy snacks and satisfy a sweet tooth. They are delightful with a cup of herbal tea after yoga class. Here is one recipe to try using almonds:

In a blender or food processor, mix pitted dried dates, ground almonds, a couple of teaspoons of raw cacao powder, and a handful of whole nuts of your choice (e.g. walnuts, brazil nuts or cashew nuts). Mix thoroughly, adjusting the consistency by either adding more dry or moist ingredients, or even a drop or two of water if needed). Roll the mixture into truffle sized balls and pop them in the fridge for easy access snacks and treats.

All in all, almonds help support the body’s internal systems, make the skin glow, and are a healthy, handy and filling snack. Almonds can be incorporated into every aspect of a natural diet. So if you’re in a peanut rut, switch up your habit for almonds and enjoy a delicious new spin on healthy eating.  (courtesy of Gemma Ford)

5 Delicious and Beautifying Summer Drink Recipes

Monday, July 1st, 2013
Healthy drinks

Healthy drinks

During the summer, it’s especially important to stay hydrated for optimal health and beauty. Your body will crave more fluids as you perspire more. While pure water is always best, sometimes you want a little flavor in your refreshment. Unfortunately, many popular summer drinks are filled with sugar and chemicals that offer no favors in terms of your health or hydration. But there are many other good choices, and you can enjoy a refreshing summer beverage without all of the chemicals and sugar. Here are five great recipes.

Cucumber Water
This is a different twist on citrus-flavored water. Cucumber is a powerful beauty food, and this refreshing beverage infuses water with the flavor of cucumber. Cucumbers are high in vitamins A, C, and B6, as well as folic acid. Best, the drink is super easy to make and really delicious!

1 medium cucumber, cleaned and cut into ½ inch slices
2 quarts of pure water
Combine cucumber and water in a large pitcher and allow to sit for one hour or longer. Serve cool.

Agua Fresca
This popular Mexican drink infuses water with your favorite fresh fruit.
4 cups pure, cold water
2 cups of your favorite fresh fruit (berries or papaya?)
Stevia to taste
2 teaspoons of fresh squeezed lime juice
Lime wedges
Place fruit and water in a blender and puree.
Place a small sieve over a pitcher and pour mixture into it, straining the liquid into the pitcher. Discard solids.
Add lime juice and stevia.
Garnish with lime wedges.

Iced Rooibos Mint Tea
Rooibos tea is high in antioxidants and flavonoids, so it promotes youthfulness and great skin. Over a little ice with mint and lemon, it’s a refreshing and detoxifying summer beverage.
6 Rooibos tea bags
One lemon, sliced
Several leaves of fresh mint
Stevia to taste
1 gallon of boiling water
Pour water over lemon, teabags and mint leaves and steep, stirring occasionally, until liquid cools. Remove tea bags, pour into a pitcher, and refrigerate. Serve cool or over a little bit of ice.

Basil Lemonade
Lemons are high in vitamin C and promote alkalinity and cleansing in the body. The basil adds a refreshing flavor to this sugar-free lemonade.

½ cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 cups of cold water
1 cup of fresh basil leaves
Stevia to taste
Place basil in the bottom of a pitcher and muddle it by slightly crushing the leaves. Combine lemon juice and water and pour over basil leaves. Add stevia to taste. Chill, and serve over ice.

Cilantro and Jalapeno Limeade
Cilantro is loaded with antioxidants and aids in detoxification, while jalapeno can help rev up your metabolism. Lime is high in Vitamin C.

4-1/2 cups of water
1 cup organic cilantro, washed and chopped
2 large jalapenos, seeds and ribs removed and chopped
1-1/2 cups of fresh lime juice
Stevia to taste
Lime slices for garnish
Pour water over cilantro and jalapenos. Steep for 30 minutes at room temperature, and then cover and chill for 3-4 hours. Strain the mixture into a pitcher and stir in lime juice. Add stevia to taste. Serve over ice garnished with lime slices.

Enjoy. If you like these drinks, give us a shout out on Facebook.
Thanks for the great drink advice from Kimberly Snyder. Visit her site at http://kimberlysnyder.net

What is Restorative Yoga?

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

restorative yogaWe’ve all heard about restorative sleep, restorative dentistry and restorative justice, but what about restorative yoga?  What is different about this new and interesting form of yoga, and why should you learn about it?

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Keep Your Own Rhythm with Mediation Gongs and Chimes

Sunday, May 5th, 2013

bronze chau gongAs more people embrace the healing benefits of meditation, they learn that some “accessories” are essential to this practice.  While it’s certainly possible to sit on a mat in your living room and meditate, many people find it nearly impossible without a proper cushion and a meditation gong or chime. 

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Astrology Soul Coach Cosmic Dance for April 2013

Monday, April 1st, 2013

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Happy New Year! No I’m not behind – I’m talking about the Astrological Year which began on the Vernal Equinox. On March 20th, the Sun was re-born in the courageous, innovative and pioneering sign of Aries. This fire sign is inspirational, spontaneous, fearless, and independent and yes, often unpredictable.

As several of the planets including Venus, Mars, Mercury and Uranus are also refueling in Aries, spring fever is upon us. And ‘spring cleaning’ is the least of it! Aries is undaunted by obstacles and enjoys being the initiator. But the cosmos does not plan to have the youthful and inexperienced Aries making all the decisions this month. A Full Moon Lunar Eclipse on the 25th is one of the first, but unmistakable signs, our best interests are not served by an attitude or approach of ‘full steam ahead’. Not unless we care to emulate the fate of the indomitable but unfortunate Titanic, which by the way, met its misadventure in April a century ago.

When the earth stands between the Sun and Full Moon, it is a harbinger of change – often endings or culmination points. This particular eclipse spotlights issues associated with Taurus – the need to own, accumulate, and collect, and Scorpio – our need to cleanse, purify, heal and release. This is the month to give serious consideration to everything in your life – from relationships to the salt and pepper set on the kitchen counter. How do the people and things in your life reflect you and your values? Be honest with yourself and release what is no longer working and open up to your future. Although you may not be able to replace the loveseat that reminds you of your old boyfriend, do what is possible to recycle and release. Then treat yourself to something within your budget that reflects your dreams for your future. How about a salt lamp? Earthy and practical Taurus will approve both the function and beauty and Scorpio will appreciate the cleansing and spiritual properties. Make all your decisions winning ones this month with a conscious approach.

C.A. Brooks is a clairvoyant astrologer, writer, speaker and coach
You can find her at 12Listen.com and read her weekly astrology column in Mark’s Power Peek at 12House.com. She hosts a daily radio show “A Course in Miracles Daily Lessons” on 12Radio.com at 7am Pacific – 10 Eastern. You can also tune into her weekly Astrology radio program, Simpletales, on 12Radio.com every Tuesday 11am Pacific – 2 Eastern.

ca@cabrooks.com

http://www.facebook.com/cabrooks2

Spring is the Time for Restorative Zen Tea Rituals

Friday, March 15th, 2013

zen tea ritualsWe’ve all heard about the ritual practices that surround tea drinking, which seem to arise from various cultures around the world.  In England, tea time has developed into a late day meal with its own etiquette and special traditions.  But tea takes on a more personal meaning in Asian cultures, where it becomes a form of meditation.

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Astrology Soul Coach Cosmic Dance for March 2013

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013



The Calendar may be saying ‘March’ but we won’t be marching anywhere this month – swimming is more like it. As the planets move in their assigned orbits around the Sun, from our perspective here on earth we see them against the backdrop of constellations of stars. This month 5 planets and the asteroid, Chiron, are all swimming in the emotional and sensitive sign of Pisces.

Pisces is associated with the planet Neptune and both are symbols of imagination, spirituality, creativity, intuition, dreams, illusions, compassion, forgiveness, drugs, alcohol and transcendence. We might just as well consider ourselves “under the influence”. Remember too, that Mercury, the planet of thinking and communication is not only in this very touchy-feely sign, but is also moving in a retrograde pattern until March 17th. Our usual ways of thinking through problems and communicating are being filtered through our hearts. Those of us who tend to rely more on the brain than heart are likely to feel confused, foggy and maybe a bit overwhelmed. Just what happened to all my great planning, agendas and protocols? Right now they are all wet!

But also consider, Neptune harnesses the power of the heart and of water – able to dissolve boundaries between people and allow creative solutions to emerge. Your imagination is never as powerful as now, under the guidance of Neptune. On Monday March 11, the Moon will join all these planets in Pisces and as it comes into alignment with the Sun a new lunar cycle will begin. New Moons are always powerful symbols of new beginnings – this one is infused with the power of wisdom derived from our inner search for truth and meaning. We are encouraged to connect with our inner source for direction and guidance.

This is not our usual March. As occasionally happens, the cosmos throws a party and many of the planets attend. Right now that party is at the beach – so grab your swim suits and don’t forget your snorkel gear. There is a vast world of imagination to explore down there.

C.A. Brooks is a clairvoyant astrologer, writer, speaker and coach

You can find her at 12Listen.com and read her weekly astrology column in Mark’s Power Peek at 12House.com. She hosts a daily radio show “A Course in Miracles Daily Lessons” on 12Radio.com at 7am Pacific – 10 Eastern. You can also tune into her weekly Astrology radio program, Simpletales, on 12Radio.com every Tuesday 11am Pacific – 2 Eastern.