Small pieces in need of homes:
A simple meditation technique: sit on the floor with your legs crossed "indian style" and your back straight. Rest your palms face up on your knees. Close your eyes three quarters of the way, keeping your visual focus on the floor about one foot in front of you. Once you are in a comfortable position and your body is still, bring your attention to your breath. Feel your breath going in and out. Begin to count one full count for one full breath, so that when you exhale you count one, then inhale, then exhale and count two, etc. Any time a thought other than your breath comes up, notice it, imagine yourself placing it into a balloon and watch it fly away. Now start counting your breath again at one. When you reach ten counts (if you reach ten counts--and chances are you won't for quite some time!) go back and start at one again. Try doing this for ten minutes straight the first time. The first time I tried this I never made it past one count! Each time I started to count my breath I thought everything from "am I doing this right?" to "what do I want for dinner?" After a while though, at twenty minutes a day, I found myself getting to ten, and discovering a lot about my thoughts along the way. Within a week I noticed that I was able to focus more clearly in all of my daily activities. Within a few weeks I realized that I was more relaxed, more efficient, and more energetic.
Place in Health--Tattoos and Piercings
Tattoos are an ancient form of body art and beautification. In Asia, tattoos have a stable cultural significance that is unlikely to shift throughout one's life. In the West, however, tattoos have emerged as more of a fad and ebb and flow in their popularity. If you are thinking of getting a tattoo, it is worth considering that you may feel differently about having a tattoo as you grow and change. Practically speaking, your physical body will change to, so any designs should take into account potential sagging, stretch marks, and general shifts in body shape. Just like any other part of Feng Shui, whenever you modify your body (be it your literal body or your room or the "body" of your life decisions) you attract or deflect certain energies--so it is best to do so consciously and with clear intentions. Before choosing your design, ask yourself "what image do I wish to carry with me my entire life and what energies do I wish it to attract? How will those energies move through life with me?"
Piercing, on the other hand, has very specific physical repercussions. When you pierce an area of your body, you are stimulating a specific acupuncture point, whether you know it or not. For example, it is common for both ears to be pierced. Piercing that body area stimulates eyesight, and was popularized by sailors who benefited from seeing land at far distances.
Piercing your eyebrows? Depending on where you pierce it, that's a point on the bladder, stomach, or small intestines meridian. Piercing your chin under your lip? That's a point on your conception vessel that could effect you hormones. Piercing your tongue? Different locations on the tongue stimulate different points. The center of your tongue stimulates a digestion point. Nipples are traditionally an area that is not pierced. A ring in the navel for too long can deplete your immune system. If you wish to know what points will be activated by a piercing, consider going to an acupuncturist and have a diagnosis.
One incredibly powerful exercise is to locate all of the negative thoughts in a journal entry and rewrite them into affirmative statements. So, for example, I may find myself writing, "I'm so sick of everyone telling me what to do." In the affirmative I might write, "I have a good sense of what needs to get done at any given moment." If I'm feeling generous I might add, "I'm grateful that people care enough about me to attempt to help direct my life, but am learning to discern between what someone else wants and what I want for myself."
Where are your shoes?
He was a Zen Master. And it was not easy being a Zen Master, for many would-be disciples came from all parts of Japan to seek his guidance. But he lived in a modest cottage in the mountains and let the aspiring disciples come as they would.
One day a young man arrived at the Master's cottage. This was a young man who was quite serious about his spiritual path. This acolyte had studied much, meditated much, and felt that he was quite ready to become the right-hand disciple of any Master.
It had been raining when the young man arrived at the Master's house. The Master was seated on a pillow in a small room. The young man carefully removed his shoes and placed his umbrella outside the door.
The young man entered the room and bowed to the Master. "I would like to become your disciple. I would like to become enlightened as you are, Master," the young man said.
"I have studied much and feel that I am on the path to realization," said the young man, growing a bit uncomfortable at the Master's silence.
The Master smiled with his eyes half-closed and nodded.
"Don't you feel that I could become an awakened one?" asked the youth, becoming exasperated at the Master's reticence.
The Master opened his eyes. The young man now felt hopeful. The Master would accept him.