Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Simple Bone Broth


Bone Broth provides us with wonderful nutrition.  I have friends who have eased their arthritis and others who have helped to speed their healing from injuries and surgeries using this easy to make, mineral rich recipe.  Enjoy this short video that will tell you how.

© Josephine Laing, 2016

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Art of Tea Leaf Reading




Before the days of therapists and counselors, we used to simply sit down with a dear friend and a good cup of tea.  There at the kitchen table, we would pour our hearts out and spill our secrets into the saucer with our tea.  Wonderful insights would occur to us as we would share our stories.  Our dear friend would take them all in and tend to them, carefully and with as much depth of consideration as if she were holding one of our new born babes.

This beautiful kitchen table magic is not lost to us.  And it can be even further enhanced when combined with the fine art of tea leaf reading.  Tea leaf reading, similar to the I-Ching, the Runes and the Tarot is a form of “Giving Divination.”  It is very like looking at clouds or gazing into a crystal ball.  Images appear and they can help us gain insight into a given situation.  The seer uses their soft vision, not a hard focus, to let shapes appear to them and then shares impressions that may accompany their impressions. 

Though we can certainly do tea leaf readings for ourselves, it is very nice to nice to do this with a friend or a companion.  Like the wise stranger we once met on a bus or a train, sometimes our best advice can come from someone that we don't really know. 

For tea leaf readings, you need a loose leaf tea.  It can be herbal, black or green, but it must still have some shape to the plant parts and not be powdered.  Then, while sipping the tea, the person who is having some difficulty shares their problems with the listener.  They tell the whole story, all the ins and outs, everything they can think of and how they feel about it.  All the while, they are sipping away at their tea. 

When their cup is almost empty, holding only one or two more swallows, they focus silently on the entirety of the problem and formulate their ideas into a question.  It can be something like, "What is the best course of action for me to take here?' or "What would be in accordance with the highest good for all concerned in this situation?"  Then they take just one more little sip so there is just barely enough liquid left in the cup to enable them to lightly swirl the leaves around.  And then they turn the cup upside down, spilling it's remaining contents into the saucer.  Some of the leaves will spill with the liquid into the saucer but some of the bits of leaves will remain on the sides of the cup. 

The friend who has been listening then takes the cup and using their soft eyes, they look at the leaves, just like how they might look at the clouds, to see if they can imagine images there.  Similar to laying out a card deck, areas within the cup can be used to represent: the past or the future, a base of family support or destiny coming from on high.  The bits and globs of soggy tea leaves located on one side of the handle area might represent where you have been in your life, while the bits located on the other side of the handle might represent where you are headed.  It is all very arbitrary and each seer develops their own ideas regarding the of placement of the remaining leaves within the cup.

Some bits of tea may look like birds swirling on thermal drafts or airplanes in flight.  Just like with dream images, these can mean different things.  For me, birds and planes represent spiritual flight.  Bicycles can be balance, cars or buses can represent our bodies.  It is all good.  Trust the process and let it flow. 

I like to encourage beginning tea leaf readers to just keep talking.  Whether you think you are only making stuff up or you think that you are accurately perceiving psychically, just keep on talking.  It gets the ball rolling and the information will begin to come to you.  Try not to judge it.  Simply trust it.  And I'm sure that you will be pleasantly surprised by the feedback you get from your friend.  Most likely they will be blown away by how perceptive you are, by the insights and wisdoms you were able to share and by the accuracy of the information that you were able to give.

So have some fun.  Let your consciousness align with that all knowing, all seeing part of you that is a part of us all.  Get out some tea, a little cup and saucer and put the water on to boil.  Enjoy.


© Josephine Laing, 2016

Monday, May 16, 2016

A Delicious Sweet Treat



We all need sweetness in our lives.  Please enjoy this short video describing a delightful and nutritious way to satisfy that need without the use of refined sugars.  Yum!

© Josephine Laing, 2016

Sunday, May 8, 2016

The Quantum Mechanical World and the Nature of Consciousness




My friend and favorite scientist, Rupert Sheldrake recently gave a talk at the Royal Geological Society in London called, "Is the Sun Conscious?"  This is a wonderful topic and I hope you get a chance to listen to it.  In it he speaks about the work of Alfred North Whitehead, an English mathematician and philosopher from the last century.  Rupert explained that Whitehead proposed a "philosophy of organisms," seeing the whole universe as an organism and stars and planets as organisms, including Gaia, our own planet, as an organism.  This is of course an idea that has gained considerable popularity in our time, following the work of James Lovelock, during the 1960's. 

Rupert explained that Alfred Whitehead also saw crystals, atoms and molecules along with, of course, plants and animals as organisms.  This holistic philosophy of nature treated organisms as self organizing systems with their own goals or purposes.  This is one of the properties of consciousness, having a goal or a purpose.  Rupert went on to say that living organisms or any organism has goals and purposes.  Then he showed how Whitehead used quantum theory to point out how this might work.  I've transcribed this part of Rupert's talk and would like to share it with you now, as my blog this week, because it is such a lovely and simple primer in some of the basics of quantum theory and also of consciousness.  So, here we go.

"Whitehead then went on to point out how this might work using quantum theory, where matter is no longer just stuff, matter is a process.  An electron is a wave, everything in quantum theory is made of waves and waves take time to wave.  You can't have waves in an instant.  Think of a wave in the sea, if you take an infinitesimally thin slice of a wave, it is no longer a wave, it's impossible in terms of a wave.  This is the ultimate reason for the Uncertainty Principle in Quantum physics, because you can't localize waves in space or time.  They are spread out in both. 

Because they are spread out in time, it means that every material thing is a process, and that a material process has a past and a future, because it is spread out in time, and it has a direction in time.  And whitehead used this as a way of approaching the mind body problem.  Normally people think of the mind as the inside and the body as the outside, in the external world.  People talk of the inner life, the mind is within, using spacial metaphors. 

But Whitehead thought that the best way of thinking of mind and body was in time.  The mind is the future pole of the organism, the body is the past pole.  The future pole is concerned with possible actions.  And this is true even with electrons, the spread of the wave equation tells us all the possible things an electron could do.  And when it interacts with something is what people call "the collapse of the wave function."  Of all these possibilities, only one is actually realized.  That's a measurable observable fact, but it is immediately in the past.  It's now a physical fact, and immediately a whole new set of possibilities opens up, in the new wave equation, which are in the future, or the virtual future.  And when the electron decides, or the wave function collapses to one of these things, again, you get something in the past, a material body, like a measurable fact. 

Now, he (Whitehead) thought our minds worked the same way, our minds are principally concerned with possibilities.  Consciousness is an arena of possibility.  And the function of our consciousness is to choose among possibilities.  We all had many possibilities for this afternoon.  And we chose to come here and to be here out of all of the possible things we could have done.  We made that decision.  We brought it into actuality by coming here.  It's now a measurable fact that we are all in this room.  We can be photographed, weighed, measured etc.  And our minds are now opening to new possibilities.  

Now, our habits are generally unconscious and don't require the consideration of possibilities.  Consciousness is about consideration of possibilities in this model.  It gives us a way of thinking about consciousness and what it does."

Isn't that a lovely description?  To me, with this, Rupert harmonizes the quantum mechanical world with the material world.  And he does it through a brief peek into the world of consciousness. 


© Josephine Laing, 2016















Sunday, May 1, 2016

Organic Food




Whether we are trying to heal or just seeking a better experience in life, it is good to go organic with our food.  Why?  Nutrition.  I feel that this is number one.  Second, it's a good idea for us humans to stop poisoning our air, our water, our soil, our selves, the animals, the plants, and the world.  Third, our nervous systems are tough, but they are also very sensitive.  Pesticides are neurotoxins. Neurotoxins damage or kill nervous systems.  That is what they are designed to do.  And we don't want that in our own bodies or in our planet's body either.

People will say, "But it's too expensive."  However, the big expense here lies in the unseen cost of non-organic foods.  Those foods with their heavy use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers are polluting our earth, our bodies and our minds.  Their prices do not include the clean up cost for this pollution.  One day that bill will come due.  Until then our health will suffer and just like with the "Superfunds" which are spent cleaning up industrial accidents, we tax payers will pay.  I'd rather respect the garden by preventing the toxic spill in the first place and pay the farmer a living wage for protecting me, her family and the meadow lark too.

It is true that organic produce costs more, but there are reasons for the higher price.  Organic produce has to meet higher quality standards and tougher regulations than conventionally grown produce.  This requires extra labor and that is what raises the price.  Also, our government has programs that subsidize the production of food.  But organic foods are not included in these subsidies, only non-organic food stuffs are subsidized and these are largely the ones used in the junk food industries, like corn and soy. 

Some people say that organically grown does not mean organically shipped.  They assert that toxins and fumigants are used on the food in shipping.  But this is simply not true.  Mexico, the EU, Canada and the United States all accept each others governmental organic food certifications and standards. All of those standards are very strict.  The value of the U.S. organic market is too great for any organic importers to risk sloppy practices.  If an international shipment is forced to be fumigated, it can no longer be sold as organic.  If shipments are even held at the border for testing of suspected pests, this delay can cause great damage to the produce and it may become unsalable.  So growers go to extreme lengths to ship high quality and extremely clean organic produce.
When foods are grown organically, the plants bodies take up the broad spectrum of natural nutrition from the soil.  This is like a rainbow in it's complexity and gradation of colors and it is very different from non-organically grown food.  Non-organic foods are grown in nutritionally depleted soils which are compensated for with commercial fertilizers.  These fertilizers are typically made from industrial waste products.  This is likely why organic foods are richer in naturally occurring organic acids and in polyphenolic compounds.  These acids and compounds are antioxidants which lend great benefit to human health.  As well organic foods have significant flavor differences.  When a nectarine tastes like amazing piece of adult candy instead of a raw and mealy potato, it is much more likely to be included in our diet.

Some years back I heard a statistic on how we in the modern west pay a smaller percentage of our income on food costs than any other group of people in recorded history.  Even still, sometimes our budgets are so tight that we feel we just truly can not afford the higher price for organic food in the grocery store.  In this situation, fortunately, we still have a wonderfully viable option, our local farmer's market.  

Not all farmers grow organically, many of them do not.  However, many who do grow organically can not afford to pay the price of organic certification, yet they choose to hold firmly to organic standards none the less.  So here is another avenue, allowing us to stand behind organic principles, by simply getting to know our local growers.  After they get to know you, most farmers are happy to have you come out to see their farms.  

Most small family farmers have no more interest in poisoning themselves and their children with toxic pesticides and fertilizers than they do in poisoning their land or you.  Organic farming practices have been with us for millennia.  While non-organic practices, have been with us for only a handful of decades.  So go to the farmers market, meet the growers.  Find the ones who never do any spraying or commercial fertilizing.  There are some real green thumbs out there who grow great non-certified, yet organic food, full of nutrition, very inexpensively.  It couldn't be fresher and it will fuel you on your way with powerful nutrition.

So do yourself a favor.  Feed yourself well and tend to the garden at the same time.  Eliminate the poisons from your body and from our world by supporting what supports you and all of the rest of life.  We hold the key right inside our pocket books.  It's a small change there, but a massive change in our own health and in the well being of our entire world.


© Josephine Laing, 2016