Chattering Mind

sandalwoodmala.jpgHave to say these are the nicest wrist malas I’ve ever seen. Doesn’t their gorgeousness rip open your heart? You could use one to lovingly count mantras during your meditation practice. And while specific Eastern mantras are recommended for each mala, I say these sacred beads are multi-faith. If you fit your prayers to them, you’ll do fine!
This site advises you to keep your mala in a sacred place, and not strut it around town. (So the spiritually materialistic part of each one of us, the part that loves to show off our cool, spiritual stuff, must be restrained. Whaaa.) Here’s a beautiful selection of mala bags for careful, conscientious mala storage.

Good testament to the power of fish oil and omega-3s here. I’ve heard these supplements are especially crucial for kids with special needs.

kukicha%20med.JPGI was grumpy this morning as I rooted through my kitchen cabinets, irritated with myself for running out of green tea, when I located a small bag of Kukicha twigs I’d relegated to secondary tea status. I fixed a cup and yum–this is a tea no one should neglect! It’s nuttier than a green or white tea, and much less astringent. Whereas you might imagine a green tea whispering “Eeek” in your ear, Kukicha twig utters a far more relaxed “Ahhh.”
This site says that Kukicha twig tea “was popularized in the U.S. and Europe in the 1960s by George Ohsawa, the founder of modern macrobiotics. Mr. Ohsawa considered Kukicha to be the perfect complementary beverage for a grain-based or mostly vegetarian diet, due to its alkaline qualities.” It apparently has the ability to neutralize both acids and alkalines in food. Look for it in your health food store. Here it is in tea bag form.

sandplay.jpgRegardless of what your insurance company says, psychotherapy should not go away. Or end early. Everybody needs therapy at one time or another.
Here’s a technique that’s catching on fast with spiritually-inclined Jungian people (like us!). It’s called Sand Tray or Sandplay therapy, and it was developed by Dr. Margaret Lowenfeld soon after H.G. Wells published “Floor Games” in 1911, a book about making therapeutic dioramas, or scenes on the floor with small children.
When a Sandplay therapist leads you into a Sand Tray room, you’ll emit the most elated gasp! There, on numerous rows of book shelves, you’ll find every toy figurine imaginable–two-inch-high wizards, cowboys, goddesses, buddhas, monsters, crystals, birds nests, dragons, cabins, trees, babies, doves, deer, goblins, knights, horses and superheroes, cars, buggies, fences. You will then be invited to sit before a blue-bottomed tray of sand where you may spontaneously build a scene with whichever objects you choose (you can even make little pools with real water).
Then with your Sandplay therapist, you may discuss your scene’s meaning, or what it felt like to create it, as if it were a dream filled with potent symbols you can process together. Writes Lauren Cunningham, LCSW, the founding editor of The Journal of Sandplay Therapy: “When energies in the form of ‘living symbols’ are touched upon in the personal and collective unconscious, healing can happen spontaneously within a person at an unconscious level. As a more harmonious relationship between the conscious and the unconscious develops, the ego is restructured and strengthened.”
This technique is great for kids who may not be able to talk out their problems, but it works nicely for adults too (I was in it for two years four years ago). It can be combined with other more conventional talk therapies.
Click here and here and here to learn more. Here’s a paper about Sandplay’s effective use with soldiers suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Find out if you have any sand tray therapists in your neighborhood by clicking here.

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