Bodybuilding Supplements with Niacin to Boost Your Muscle Gain

Bodybuilding supplements with niacin are often used to lower cholesterol, thanks to its ability to suppress the disintegration of fats, preventing fatty acids from entering the blood. However, niacin is also found to stimulate the human growth hormone, or GH. The growth hormone is important for everyone, but most especially for athletes and bodybuilders as it boosts cell generation in muscles, bones and vital organs, allowing muscles to grow, as well as rehabilitates injured tissues. Our pituitary glands produce GH but this declines as we get older, which is why we should take natural bodybuilding supplements, niacin included.

Niacin is also known as Vitamin B3, which like its siblings Thiamine or Vitamin B1 and Riboflavin or Vitamin B2, is able to aid in the metabolism of carbohydrates. Niacin’s most basic function is to release energy, and derivatives of niacin have been found to detoxify xenochemicals, produces steroid hormones especially in the adrenal gland and repairs DNA.

Niacin is most popularly used to treat pellagra, which is a disease manifested by lesions on the skin, gastrointestinal problems and even psychological symptoms such as extreme nervousness and depression. It is also used to treat hyperlipidemia, by lowering levels of very-low-density lipoprotein or VLDL, which is an antecedent of low-density lipoprotein, which we know as bad cholesterol. Meanwhile, it also increases the amount of good cholesterol in the body, scientifically known as high-density lipoprotein or HDL, which is why niacin is prescribed to heart attack patients.

Niacin has not been very popular as a natural supplement because there is a small level of toxicity found in rather large amounts, and is definitely not at all allowed for diabetics on insulin. Its most common side effect is the flushing of the skin, particularly in the face, followed by itching and rashes, especially on areas of the skin covered by clothing. This lasts for only fifteen to thirty minutes and may be avoided by drinking aspirin before ingesting niacin, or ibuprofen every day for two or three weeks.

Building a tolerance for niacin is important if you plan to take supplements for the long term; begin by taking small doses and gradually adding to the dosage over time. Niacin’s pharmacological properties work best in large amounts, so being able to tolerate its side effects is necessary to enjoy the vitamin’s benefits. Doctors also recommend ingesting niacin with meals, but this is not effective for bodybuilders who take niacin to enhance the growth hormone must take it on an empty stomach.

This is why niacin has not been a popular natural bodybuilding supplement till recently, its effects on the human growth hormone are only evident if ingested without any fatty acids present. Of course, in the present of fats, the niacin will set to work first on preventing its breakdown. But when it can solely concentrate on working its releasing properties on the growth hormone without any interruption, the rise of the hormone is quite significant.

The recommended dosages of niacin, in general, should be around 15 to 19 mg for men and 15 mg for women. As a bodybuilding supplement, however, you’ll need to take a much higher dosage, around 150 mg for a long term program, or 500 mg for a shorter plan. Many start with smaller dosages, from 50 mg, to get past the side effects of flushing, which usually happens at a minimum of 150 mg. Another dietary supplement has been developed called Inositol Hexanicotinate or IHN, which is also known as No-Flush Niacin. It may be a bit more expensive than niacin, but IHN is effective even if you take lower amounts of it, thereby making it a better option.

Some users of niacin merely wait for the flushing to go away, or to allow their bodies to get comfortable with the flushing and itching. Mostly longtime advocates of natural bodybuilding supplements, once they feel that their bodies have adapted to it enough to stop flushing and itching, they can elevate dosages. Again, be careful when increasing dosages of niacin, as this may also lead to liver toxicity. Although rare, it is still highly possible that niacin may raise the levels of enzymes in your liver.

To get the most out of niacin as a bodybuilding supplement, take your dosage before you go to sleep, so long as you haven’t just had anything to eat a few hours before then. GH normally peaks an hour after we sleep, and it’s a good time for niacin and GH to interact, building up your growth activities while you sleep.

How To Stop A Vaginal Smell That Stinks – Vagina Odor Causes

Vaginal Smell: I hate the word stink but at the minute my vagina is doing just that. Okay so your vagina doesn’t smell to healthy, what is wrong with that? It’s perfectly normal to have vaginal odour! Would I be right in saying you know the difference between a normal odour to that of an abnormal one, therefore the reason for querying why your vagina is so smelly. I don’t like the word stink either, so from now I’ll use words like smelly, unhealthy, offensive, unpleasant, nasty or whatever, anything but stink, oh and pong too another word I don’t like to use

Just because the vagina is neatly tucked away for the best part of the day, doesn’t mean you should forget about it. Them that choose to ignore its existence, not checking what it is up too, could at some time suffer heartache even pain if something happens they’re not aware of until it is too late. Regular inspection is a must, if this goes amiss then the more serious side of things like vaginal disease can easily kick in.

For the record: Women have their own original smell but it should never be foul. And vaginal discharge is normal. Discharge should appear creamy white or clear, other from this is an indication something is wrong. It doesn’t have to be something serious but still get a doctor’s opinion.

There’s always going to be odor in the genital area, but if it is not going away after a good scrub then infection cannot be ruled out. Before you go panicking, poor hygiene can also do this. You don’t have to be a dirty person if that’s what your thinking to have a personal hygiene problem. You can wash the vagina over and over but if not thoroughly cleaned then smell will remain. Having said this intense washing is not the answer either, and neither is it good to douche, that is unless under doctors orders. Feminine odor is something every woman of reproductive age may suffer at some time. It can develop when there is an overgrowth of bad bacteria in the vagina which disrupt the pH balance of the vaginal flora.

Bacterial vaginosis is the infection to look towards if a fishy smell with a runny white or grey discharge is present. If its more a yeasty odor, then its likely a yeast infection, which typically brings more discharge and looks like clotted cheese.

Odour times and explanations

Menstruation: The vagina is an organ that self cleans, but when on your periods it needs help as it can only do so much in the way of getting rid of smell and stale blood. Menstrual odour can be strong and in most cases of unpleasant smell is due to not giving the genital area a thorough wash. A quick swill with water or a wet flannel is not enough to rid odor and other. Menstrual blood doesn’t smell and comes from one of the cleanest parts of the body. The vagina is clean because it’s slightly acidic to keep a good balance of bacteria, but blood can alter the pH of the vagina which then affect’s bacterial balance. Being a nutritious substance bacteria thrive off menstrual flow. Blood and bacteria exposed to air will in return become smelly. A lot of the time sanitary products are to blame because they stop blood from drying which encourages bacterial growth.

Because tampons hold blood this can affect the pH, so now the vagina is an ideal place for bacteria to grow, with warmth, moisture, nutritious menstrual blood and oxygen from the fibres. Sanitary towels prevent blood being absorbed or drying, so, keeps bacteria alive.

Prime time for odor is after sexual intercourse: A mix of smells inside the vagina along with lingering ejaculate will cause the odor thats questioned, especially by them having sex for the first time. Semen has its own unique smell.

Aggressive cleaning can destroy the natural vaginal flora (lactobacilli).

Sweating is a common cause of genital smell. More moisture means more bacterial growth.

Sweet foods and drinks can increase the amount of yeast in the vagina, upping the odds of a yeast infection.

Cancer of the cervix, uterine or bowel: Bad odor can be caused by cancerous cells within the cervix. Although particular infections have symptoms that include a watery discharge and stinks, cervical cancer may also bring similar symptoms.

Vaginal or genital herpes is caused by a virus normally passed onto another through skin to skin contact during sexual intercourse. Both vaginal yeast and vaginal herpes may cause discharge, odor, burning, itching, inflammation, irritation, redness and blisters. So which is which? Vaginal herpes symptoms, itching and burning normally stay at two locations, whereas with yeast, itching can branch out anywhere in and around the vagina and vulva. Aside from smell herpes discharge is usually thick and yellow.

Poor hygiene: Soap and water and plenty of it is the solution for sorting out an odor problem that is if infection isn’t present. If you don’t have an original odour but one that’s unpleasant call and see your doctor to find out the reason why it’s changed.

Ringing in Ears Blood Pressure Problems – 3 Tips to Stop the Whooshing Noise in You Ears

You probably already know that hearing loss and its unwelcome cousin, tinnitus is most often caused by subjecting your ears to loud noises. Other causes include head injuries, sinus and ear infections, wax build-up, high cholesterol, TMJ problems or dental problems, food allergies, certain types of tumors and high blood pressure. If you have an odd whooshing or thumping ringing in ears, then high blood pressure may be linked to the cause. Here’s help to get over this confounding problem.

Say Hello to Pulsatile Tinnitus

Tinnitus is the medical term for “ringing in the ears” although some people hear other sounds. Normally the noises can’t be heard by anyone else and there is no obvious cause of the noise in your ears. You may hear it in one ear or both ears. The noises vary, but in pulsatile tinnitus the noise is described as a drumming, thumping or whooshing noise in the ears. Anyone of any age can experience of tinnitus. Some times the noises last for minutes, other times the noise never goes away.

Does the sound in your ears beat in time with your pulse? This is called pulsatile or vascular tinnitus. Approximately 3% of tinnitus patients experience this kind of tinnitus. When you have pulsatile tinnitus you hear a rhythmic pulsing, often in time with your heartbeat.

Ringing in ears blood pressure related noises are caused by a narrowing or a partial blockage of your arteries or blood vessels caused from an atheroma. The most common cause of pulsatile tinnitus is arterial turbulence, a noisy blood flow caused by plaques or kinks in the arteries in the head or neck. An atheroma is an abnormal accumulation and swelling of cholesterol and fatty acids, calcium mineral and fibrous connective tissues within the walls of your arteries. It can be made worse if there is also hypertension. The good news is that many forms of pulsatile tinnitus are treatable.

Tips To Stop Ringing In Ears Blood Pressure Problems

Pulsatile tinnitus is a symptom of a more serious condition and you are advised seek out your physician’s advice to reduce your cholesterol levels as soon as possible. Here are some natural steps to ending your pulsatile tinnitus.

1. Salt contains sodium. Sodium causes the sounds of tinnitus to become louder and more intense. High sodium levels lead to high blood pressure problems. So back off or completely stop adding salt to your food. Search out low sodium products when buying canned or pre-packaged foods.

2. Try lowering your blood pressure without synthetic drugs. Add omega rich fish oil to your diet and eat more fiber. If you love oatmeal or oat bran flakes eat it every day as they offer the largest cholesterol lowering effects of all grains.

3. Dairy products can aggravate tinnitus and add to cholesterol problems (which lead to pulsatile tinnitus.) Try eliminating all dairy products from your diet for 10 days. Keep a daily log of any changes (good or bad) in your ringing in ears blood pressure related noises. If at the end of 10 days you noticed a reduction in the pulsatile related noises, then continue on without dairy or slowly add it back in with skim/low fat dairy products.

Enjoyable Dog Obedience Training Techniques in RI – A Must for Every Dog Owner

One of the biggest misconceptions about dogs with behavioral issues is that it’s all the dog’s fault. What many dog owners don’t realize is that their pets may be behaving badly because of them. It’s hard to hear, but it’s true. Some dog owners tend to treat their pets like babies and, so like kids, their dogs end up acting like brats. Does this sound like your dog? Then it might be time to for you and your pooch to enroll in dog obedience training classes in RI.

Contrary to popular belief, dog obedience training techniques in RI are enjoyable for both the owners and their pets. Some of the issues that may be covered in dog obedience training classes include exiting and entering of vehicles and behavior while walking through hallways and doorways. Traditional courses tend to focus on giving commands to dogs, like heel and sit, but in modern dog obedience training techniques, the focus is on the energy and attitude of the handler or owner as well as the control of proximity and space. Modern dog training techniques teach dogs and their owners to be more communicative and in synch.

Don’t want to join a class? Then a private dog training program might suit you more. One-on-one training sessions can also address specific issues that regular classes do not regularly cover. If your dogs are aggressive towards other pets or visitors, then in-home dog training may also be the better option.

Dogs aren’t the only ones who need training; owners need to be taught how to handle their pets, too. The best dog trainers in Rhode Island won’t just teach you how to give out commands—they can teach you enjoyable dog obedience techniques that focus on building trust and a respectful relationship between you and your dog. When you learn the right dog training techniques in RI, you never again have to resort to yelling or bribing just to get your pet to follow a command.

If you are planning on joining dog obedience training classes, be prepared. Your dog should have his or her own collar, and you must bring a leash. Don’t forget to wear comfortable hiking or walking shoes as your dog isn’t the only one who will be moving around during class—you will, too. Be prepared to participate in physical activities. Depending on the weather, dog obedience training classes may be held outdoors—on paved roads, forests, and trails. This can help dogs in areas such as general social skills and leash reactivity.

The Causes Of Emotional Stress And How Best To Avoid Becoming A Victim

In these days of ultra modern materialistic jet set era, where ambitions are sky high, dreams are unlimited and needs are countless but achievements are so few and far between. Is it any wonder then that almost every human being can suffer from some form of stress at some point in their life? Irrespective of the type of stress to begin with, the dangers are that it can eventually lead to the more serious and dangerous type, which is emotional stress.

As we are all well aware, emotion is generated from the heart, so during the state of emotional stress, the heart is the most affected organ, causing the heart to become prey to the biggest demon of our times and that is a heart attack. There are so many factors that can cause emotional stress, unsuccessful careers, disturbed married life, financial hazards, rebellious children, bereavement, to name just a few.

So let us a elaborate a little more on these causes and shed some more light on how one can become a victim of emotional stress. Let’s say for example that a person is hoping for big achievements in their career, perhaps without having the required capabilities, so naturally the outcome is going to be repeated disappointments and this will eventually lead to stress at work, which will ultimately end up in emotional stress. This can be avoided quite simply by assessing our capabilities and by avoiding to indulge in dreams and hopes, which are beyond our skill levels.

Emotional stress is very often also linked to emotionally biased people. You may love your life partner with profound intensity which is not being reciprocated lately. Then one day you find out that they are seeing someone else behind your back. Now the problem with this is that you love them so immensly that you dare not expose them for the fear of losing them but at the same time you can not bear the anger of their betrayal. Under such circumstances, the emotional stress will be become unbearable and something will have to give sooner or later. Such stress can also be caused by losing a dear one or partner and being unable to cope with the bereavement.

As parents we often set goals for our children without taking our kids capabilities into consideration and when the kids fail to achieve these goals, this can then lead to emotional stress, both for the kids and parents. How many times have we heard or read the news about teenagers harming themselves, especially at exam times. This is always the result of setting goals which are beyond our means.

Financial crisis and unmanageable debts are a reality of modern day living. Repeated reminders from creditors to a financially broke defaulter, giving warnings of dire consequences is reason enough to give anyone sleepless nights. Is it any wonder then that such hazardous financial situations can lead to emotional stress and when we overload our system with such unnatural pressure, we are sure to suffer serious health problems?

So the foregone conclusion is that life is not a bed of roses but irrespective of the magnitude of your problems, there is a solution. All you need is a positive and rational approach to life. If today does not remain today for more than 24 hours then how can problems remain forever. All you need is patience and boldness to eliminate them. In case of difficulties there are health professionals and counselors to help you out. So do not grin and bear the emotional stress but fight it with a smile and you are sure to eliminate it very easily.

5 Herbs With Medicinal Properties You Should Know About

While the Indians still practice Ayurveda (a medical science completely based on the medical properties of plants and herbs) and the Chinese swear by their traditional Chinese Medicine, both of the parties have strong, compelling reasons to believe so much in the therapeutic properties of herbs.

Nature’s bounty has a lot in store and one of the greatest gifts it has held for us has been herbs with medicinal properties. Exotic Herbs with medicinal values could just be the thing that could help you recuperate from an unforeseen illness. Would you not want to know about all the medicinal perks herbs can give you?

You must bear in mind that not all herbs have medicinal properties and that not all herbs with medicinal properties can be had by anyone due to possible allergic reactions known to happen for most of the herbs. However, for the most part, herbs are an excellent alternative to modern medicine and are completely organic. Here are five herbs with medicinal properties that you can benefit from:

Eyebright: Loaded with astringent and anti-inflammatory properties, Eyebright has always been used for treating patients with eye problems like pinkeye or conjunctivitis. This herb, native to Europe, has been used as a traditional folk remedy for eye inflammation, eye irritation and other eye related problems. Introduced by a naturalist St. Hildegard (1098 – 1179), it has been a must-have herb when it comes to many eye problems. Eyebright is naturally found to be very rich in Vitamin A and C. It also comes with moderate amounts of B Complex, Vitamin D and slight incidences of Vitamin E. When it comes to minerals, it has zinc, Iron, silicon, Iodine and copper.

Garlic: Did you know that in spite of the fact that garlic is one of the most common spices used in the culinary rich Asian continent, its actual medicinal properties are unknown to most people? Garlic also has a rich and vibrant history. Ever since 3000 B.C, it has been in use for its extremely rich medical properties. Taking moderate amounts of garlic can reduce the incidence of your heart-risk by at least 67%. It is also known to reduce systolic blood pressure and diastolic pressure. Garlic lowers lipid-effects, decreases cholesterol levels (serum cholesterol – the bad cholesterol) and pumps up the lipoprotiens.

Gingko Biloba: This herb is one of the most important ones in the doctrines and practices of the ancient Traditional Chinese Medicine; the Chinese truly have a high regard for this herb simply because it is a wonder herb. Gingko Biloba – taken in usual supplement size of 40- 200 mg – literally cures like it’s a panacea – tuberculosis, cholera, bronchial congestion, problems related to the heart and the kidney. Ancient Indians believe that it is also an effective cure against the asthma. Gingko seeds are said to improve your brain functions and make you sharper. Further, Gingko might also help with curing ear problems, Alzheimer disease, dementia and many more health conditions. It also helps in improving concentration, helps in enhancing memory and brings about a sense of calmness when taken in little doses.

Ginger Root: In ancient China (Traditional Chinese Medicine), tea made with ginger root is said to be able to cure coughs, cold and flu. This tea is also said to cleanse and strengthen lungs and kidneys. In China, about 2000 years ago, ginger was known to aid in digestion and diarrhea. It is also known to help cure colic and heart conditions. Tibetans use ginger root to energize those suffering from various illnesses. Ginger root is said to also cure people from vertigo, dizziness, motion sickness and nausea. When you chew Ginger root, it is said to stimulate your salivary glands and is said to revoke the paralysis of the tongue.

Agrimony: The “all-cure’ herbs – or so the English believed – was known to cure and provide respite to those who suffer from most common conditions. It is said to cure people of all problems related to the kidneys, disorders relating to the gall bladder, and the liver. Agrimony is said to be a girl’s next best friend after diamonds because it was recommended for use for many gynecological problems. Skin diseases, asthma, coughs and cold were also known to be treated by agrimony.

Although there are really a lot of herbs that have medicinal values and can be used as alternatives to modern English medicines, these five herbs together probably constitute a group of herbs which can handle almost all normal and naturally occurring conditions and diseases. All of the herbs discussed here have no known or minimal allergic reactions and are moderately safe for use. It is however best to discuss your condition with your doctor before using any of the herbs here or otherwise.

Inner Bonding and Breathwork

In 1993 I attended the Association for Humanistic Psychology Conference in Indianapolis. I was exposed for the first time to two powerful healing modalities: Breathwork and Inner Bonding. Little did I know at the time that I would go on to use both of these for my own healing process and eventually integrate the two in my work with clients. As a psychotherapist and a breathworker it is my deepest desire to assist clients in listening more deeply to their authentic self. The voice of the authentic self is a subtle voice that can so easily be crowded out by obligations or pushed aside until later (many times later never comes). Inner Bonding and Breathwork are two of the best ways I know of to reconnect with this authentic self.

Inner Bonding

Inner Bonding was developed by Dr. Erika Chopich and Dr. Margaret Paul. It was first presented in their book Healing Your Aloneness. The process evolved and Dr. Margaret Paul went on to publish Inner Bonding and her latest book Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By God? One of the sayings we so often hear and say is “You really have to love yourself before you can really love another”. The question is, how do you do that? What does it look like to really love yourself? Do we have role models for what it looks like to be loving towards ourselves? If we did not have parents who loved themselves it is difficult for us to learn how to do this. Our parents may have been loving to us and others but unloving to themselves.

Inner Bonding offers a road map on how to create an internal relationship that is loving and supportive. It is based on a six step process that can be used throughout the day to more deeply connect with the self and one’s spiritual connection. One of the goals of Inner Bonding is to develop an internal loving Adult who cares for the authentic self. In Inner Bonding the authentic self is referred to as the Child. We tend to be more open, caring and compassionate with a part of ourselves that we view as a child than as an adult. Also viewing this part as a child helps us to understand that this is a tender part of us that needs our attention, love and protection. Many people do not have an internal loving Adult because they themselves never received loving care from their parents and/or their parents did not love themselves and didn’t role model this. Most people tend to operate from a wounded child-adult aspect, a part of them that is modeled after their parent’s behavior towards them. This wounded child-adult has hundreds of false beliefs that were learned from parents and other caregivers. The six major false beliefs that tend to be most prevalent are:

1.  There is something wrong with me. I’m unlovable, unworthy, inadequate, defective in some way.

2.  I am powerless over how I feel. Other people or outside events are responsible for making me happy or unhappy.

3.  Other people’s feelings are more important than mine, and I am responsible for their feelings.

4.  I can control what others think of me, feel about me, and how they treat me.

5.  Resisting others’ control over me is essential to my integrity.

6.  I can’t handle pain, discomfort, fear, hurt, grief, anger, disconnection from others, boredom, disappointment, shame or aloneness.

These false beliefs of the wounded child-adult create a lot of pain both internally and in relationships with others. When there is no internal loving Adult the wounded child-adult is in charge of the system. If you can imagine your internal system as a bus and the wounded child-adult (who tends to be the age that it learned the false belief, let’s say 7 years old) is driving the bus and the Inner Child, the authentic self, is curled up in the back seat holding on for dear life! Many people are living their lives this way, operating from a wounded child-adult perspective. Another consequence of operating out of the wounded child-adult perspective is that people tend to recreate internally the same dynamic that they themselves grew up in. Let’s say someone was criticized constantly and told they were not good enough. There is a good chance that today in their inner relationship their wounded child-adult is critical of their Inner Child in the same way. This causes the continued low self-esteem and self-worth that was started in that person’s childhood. They may look to their parents as the cause of their low self-esteem without realizing that they are continuing it on the inner level.

It is a creative process to develop an internal loving Adult. Many people have a grandparent or family friend that was loving to them that they use as a role model for developing this. Sometimes they have a spiritual image that provides a loving role model. It is our job to make the choice to develop this loving Adult and then parent both the wounded child-adult and the Inner Child. This loving Adult can bring through the truth about the false beliefs that cause so much pain if they go unchallenged. When there is a loving Adult present the internal relationship is loving and supportive. Going back to our image of the bus, imagine a loving Adult entering the bus and tapping the wounded child-adult on the shoulder and saying, “I’m here now, you don’t have to do this big job. I can drive and take good care of both you and the Inner Child. You can relax and let go.” Sometimes people will balk at doing inner child work and think it is silly. It can be helpful for them to think of the child as the authentic self. I find that the people most resistant to the idea are often the people who need it the most. Inner Bonding facilitator Nancy Weston shared with me the following statement: “It is by going into the softness that we grow strong.”

Breathwork

Breathing has been used for thousands of years as a path of personal and psycho-spiritual development. One of the oldest yoga Textbooks dating back 4000 years is the Shiva Sutras. It is a manual on how to breathe to become centered. Pranayama is the yoga term for Breathwork. Prana means life energy and yama means to lengthen. The practice of pranayama is a means to enhance life energy through lengthening or deepening the breath. The ancient yogis probably were the first to discover the relationship between breathing and mental/emotional states. They noted that certain forms of breathing evoked corresponding mental states. Irregular, shallow breathing was seen to result in disturbances of mind, emotion and body. Full, relaxed smooth breathing was seen as an accompaniment of a quiet mind.

In the west, German psychiatrist Wilhelm Reich emerged in the early part of the last century as a pioneer in the field of psychology with his therapeutic use of breathing. He was an early associate of Sigmund Freud and pioneered the entire field of body centered therapy. One of Reich’s observations was that people tended to develop what he called body armor. Body armor is when we protect ourselves from painful feelings and experiences by withdrawing ourselves and erecting defenses. These defenses can take the form of chronic muscular tension. He noticed that when a client had a significant breakthrough in analysis there was often an accompanying release in muscular tension. Reich noticed that muscular armoring reduced the full range of vitality. Reich observed that breathing was always compromised when a person erected armor. When feelings were held in, the breath was held in. He had his patients lie down and breathe deeply through their mouths. As the breathing deepened and the muscle tensions released, often there were corresponding releases of deep emotion. Clients would cry, yell, laugh or shake in fear that had been held in the body.

One of the most recent outgrowths of Reich’s pioneering efforts is Rebirthing. Rebirthing was developed by Leonard Orr through his own personal experiences as he breathed in his bathtub. As he practiced deep breathing in warm water, he found himself activating birth memories and experiences (Hence, the term “Rebirthing.”) Over time, he discovered that the technique could be used on dry land with similar results. In Rebirthing people do not always go back to their birth experiences. They may go to childhood experiences or process recent emotions. Rebirthing can still be a fitting title for these experiences because people will have such transformative experiences that it feels like they are rebirthing into a new self.

Modern day Breathwork is diverse with styles including Holotropic, Integrative and Radiance to name a few. Many of these styles integrate Reichian aspects as well as Rebirthing techniques. They also may integrate work from different body centered therapies as well as psychological theories.

In the work that I do with clients I have the client lie down and breathe in full connected breathes. As they breathe they will have various body sensations. Examples could be a pain in a leg, tingling in hands, tightness in the chest. The body may feel warm or cold, with numbness or streaming sensations. As they continue to breathe and become more present to what is happening in their bodies, emotions may surface. This may be sadness, fear, grief, loneliness or anger from the past or present. The client can then breathe into the feeling and allow it to be fully expressed. They may express the feeling by crying, yelling, shaking their body, hitting a cushion, verbalizing the unexpressed feelings etc.

Each person expresses him or herself in a different way. It is important to continue to breathe while expressing the emotion so it can be fully released from the body. It is at this time that they are connected to their authentic self, their Inner Child. The child speaks to us through the body. Often at the end of the session people are surprised with what has surfaced and say, “I never knew that was inside of me.”; This can be an example of the disconnection with the Child/Body/Authentic self. If there was an ongoing true connection there would be no surprises.

When we ignore the child (the body) we tend to get louder and louder messages: the minor back pain turns into our back going out and we are unable to move. It takes time to learn what the message is and it is well worth the effort. The child/body wants us to be healthy, whole and in balance. It is important to utilize processes like Inner Bonding and Breathwork, any process that can bring you closer to your authenticity in the moment. It is through this deep listening to the body/child/authentic self, and responding to what is learned, that we build an internal loving relationship that nourishes us. It is from this connected, loving place that we are truly able to share love with those around us and contribute to a more loving world.

Credit goes to Carol Lampman for providing the background history of Breathwork.

Advice For Those Suffering From An Addiction

There are a lot of factors to take into account when discussing drug abuse and addiction. Factors such as economy, mental state, upbringing, and so many more have an effect on those who suffer from an addiction. Although it’s important to look into correlations between environment and drug abuse, the most important aspect of treating an addict is drug rehabilitation. The first step in the rehabilitation process is a detox program. There are many programs offered from California detox centers to Florida drug detox centers. It’s all about finding the best place to recovery from an addiction.

Addiction

Addiction is classified as a neurological disease that exhibits as the continued use of mood altering substances that although creating adverse effects is repetitively used. Primarily addictions come in the form of alcohol abuse or drug abuse. However other addictions occur such as exercise and gambling. An addiction occurs when there is an impaired control over substances or behavior. Psychological dependence happens and eventually after a certain amount of time a physiological dependence will occur which makes coming off a drug or substance more difficult and dangerous.  

Detox

Addiction treatment and rehabilitation is the only way to really recover from an addiction. It is a disease that takes over an individual’s thoughts, actions, and life. The first step in rehabilitation is detox, which means the addict must stop using their preferred substance. This can be dangerous depending on the physical dependence that has been gained. Often it is best if this is done in a medically supervised detox center to provide necessary medical treatment as well as supervision and monitoring. Once an addicts system is clear of the substance the rehabilitation can occur.

Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation teaches a former addict how to live their life again, except without drugs or alcohol. Often, addicts run from emotions by imbibing substances that make them feel happy, or make them sleep. This stage of the recovery process forces the addict to deal with their issues and helps them manage coping mechanisms that are much healthier. It is at this stage that often time’s addicts are diagnosed with a co-occurring disorder such as depression, anxiety, or bi-polar disorder.

Relapse Prevention

Once treatment is successfully completed the next step is relapse prevention. This step allows a former addict to return to their former environment and live their life without drugs or alcohol. They have been given the tools to effectively resist temptation and handle stress and emotions better. Usually a team is set up consisting of a therapist, counselor, and even a medical professional depending on the individual. Often individuals will choose to live in sober communities, sharing in the experience together. It is a vulnerable time, but also a time in which a former addict can truly shine in the face of new recovery.

Drug addiction is a terrible affliction that affects not only the addict, but those that love them. Treatment is the best way to help someone with a substance abuse problem get their life back on track. Rehabilitations are throughout the United States from California detox centers to Florida drug detox programs; there is a facility that can help anyone anywhere. It’s just a matter of taking the first step looking for help and accepting it. 

Top Health Benefits of Cloves

India is full of different types of spices and herbs. These herbs and spices not only add the essence of various delicacies, but they also play a key role in the field of traditional medicine, and it is, needless to say, that, clove being a common form of Indian spice, is also mentioned in the Ayurvedic medicine, because of its therapeutic benefits and nutritional value.

Cloves are largely used in cooking, either in complete form or in a grounded form, and it is widely popular all across the globe, because of its numbing effects on the epithelial tissues, present in our mouth. In Ayurvedic medicine, clove is measured to bear the consequence of rising heat in the system that’s why it is added to tea along with ginger during the winter season!

Common Traits of Clove:

Eugenol, being a significant component of clove, is highly effective in reducing the risks caused by toxicity from the environmental pollutants such as carbon tetrachloride, digestive tract cancers, or joint inflammations. Other health benefits of clove include the following:

• Cloves are an outstanding source of manganese, a very high-quality source of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin K, dietary fiber, and vitamin C and a good source of calcium and magnesium.

• Cloves are also said to be a natural anthelmintic which have properties of expelling parasitic worms from the body, by either stunning or killing them.

• For the stimulation and warm purpose, the essential oil is used in aromatherapy especially for digestive problems.

• Gargling with clove oil can also help to cure sore throat and bad breath.

• Cloves have antiseptic properties so clove oil is used to cure the wound, cuts, scabies, athlete’s foot, fungal infections, bruises, prickly heat, scabies, etc. Clove oil is very strong in nature hence one should use only diluted form. Avoid its application on sensitive skin.

• Clove oil is used to cure acne and has very positive results on skin.

• Clove oil stimulates sleep and it is beneficial for people suffering from insomnia.

• Due to its cooling and anti-inflammatory effect clove oil clears the nasal passage and it is useful in various respiratory disorders including coughs, colds, bronchitis, asthma, sinusitis, and tuberculosis.

• Its anti-inflammatory properties are useful in curing earaches.

• Clove oil is often added in cosmetic creams and lotions. It is a good massage oil providing relief from pain and stress.

Thus, if you have been thinking that spices are not good for your health, you may reconsider the fact. There are many spices or herbs that can certainly improve your health significantly if consumed in the right dose consistently!

Nissan Engine Range for Nissan Skyline – RB20-RB24-RB25-RB26-RB30

Nissan Engine Range for Nissan Skyline – RB20-RB24-RB25-RB26-RB30

The Nissan Skyline started the lifespan of the RB Engine line. The Technical Specifications for the Line are as follows:

  • RB20-2 LITRE 1998CC, 78MM BORE, 69.7MM STROKE
  • RB24-2.4 LITRE 2428CC, 86MM BORE, 69.7MM STROKE
  • RB25-2.5 LITRE 2498CC, 86MM BORE, 71.7MM STROKE
  • RB26-2.6 LITRE 2568CC, 86MM BORE, 73.7MM STROKE
  • RB30-3.0 LITRE 2962CC, 86MM BORE, 85MM STROKE

Common letter designations across the range were:

  • D-indicates double overhead cam (DOHC)
  • E-indicates engine is fuel injected
  • S-indicates engine is carburetted
  • T-indicates engine came equipped with factory installed turbo charger
  • TT-indicated engine came equipped with twin turbo chargers

The first of the RB20 engines came in the R31 Skyline in 1986. The first incarnations of these engines had two main variants. The earliest version was dual overhead cam using a NICS (Nissan Induction Control System), this was an injection system with twelve small intake runners, it included a butterfly system that divided the air intake ports for better low end performance. This system was later replaced with a system called ECCS (Electronically Concentrated Control System), this system replaced the twelve small runners in exchange for six larger ones although they still retained twelve ports on the cylinder head, these they divided with air splitter plates.

The different variations of the RB20 through the years were denoted by the addition of a letter code system.

  • RB20E-denoted a single cam variant
  • RB20ET- single cam turbocharged
  • RB20DE-dual over head cam
  • RB20DET-dual overhead cam turbocharged
  • RB20P-another single cam variant
  • RB20DET-R-dual overhead cam turbocharged
  • RB20DE-NEO-dual overhead cam with improved low end torque designed to reduce fuel consumptions and lower emissions.

The RB24 was a very rare engine. It was mechanically made from different engine parts in the RB line. The block was from a RB25DE/DET, the cylinder head was from a RB30 and the crankshaft was from a RB20DE/DET with 34mm pistons. This engine was not injected but came with carburettors. This configuration allowed the engine to have essentially the same displacement as the RB25DE/DET but rev higher.

The RB25 engine was mass produced in four main forms:

  • RB25DE-non turbo twin cam
  • RB25DET-twin cam turbocharged
  • RB25DE-NEO-non turbo twin cam
  • RB25DET-NEO-twin cam turbocharged

From 1993, the RB25DE and RB25DET came equipped with NVCS (Nissan Variable Cam System) this allowed the engine to produce more torque and power at lower RPM ranges than was possible in previous versions. Other changes that were made were the addition of a revised electrical system, the turbo charger on the Rb25DET was changed from an aluminium compressor to a plastic one, the ignition system got an upgrade with the introduction of ignition coils with built in igniters, eliminating the need for a separate coil ignitor. Other changes during this time to the engine were revised engine ecu, new cam angle and throttle position sensors and a newly designed mass air flow meter. Mechanically the engines were identical in series 1 and 2 engines.

The RB26DETT engine was produced throughout 1989-2002 primarily for the Nissan Skyline GT-R. The intake for the RB26DETT varies from the other RB series engines because it uses six individual throttle bodies instead of a single throttle body. It also uses a twin turbo system run in parallel. Both turbo chargers are of equal size and the wastegate is set to limit boost to pressure to 10psi. this engine is known for its strength and power potential. It is not unheard of to see people get 600hp from these engines without any modifications to the internals. Also from a reliability standpoint, these engines regularly hit 100,000 miles and even 200,000 miles as long as it is serviced regularly.

RB26DETT engines produced before 1992 were found to have a common oiling problem. The surface where the crank meets the oil pump was machined slightly too small, this eventually leads to an oil starvation problem and oil pump failure at higher RPM’s. Later versions of the engine fixed this problem and aftermarket performance part manufacturers make oil pump extension drives to eliminate this problem.

The RB30 engine came in the following configurations:

  • RB30S- single cam carburetted
  • RB30E- single cam fuel injected
  • RB30ET-fuel injected single cam turbo charged

The RB30DET engine was not actually produced by Nissan, the RB30DETT demarcation actually refers to a turbo charged engine which commonly had a engine block from a RB30E, this was mated to a Cylinder head from either a RB25DE, RB25DET or RB25DETT, RB20DE/DET heads were not used because of the difference in bore size.

You may be able to find slightly different variations of the above engines, these are commonly made by engine builders with a bit of know how in the field. These engines are used quite often when people are doing transplants into different vehicles and intend to use them for performance applications. The engines are powerful and dependable and are capable of generating huge amounts of horsepower when built correctly.

Syd Barrett: Genius or Madman?

“Paagol chaara duniya chole na (The world does not work without mad men).”

– Lalon Fakir

Roger Keith Barrett, more famously known as Syd Barrett, is the man credited for bringing psychedelic rock music from cult status to worldwide fame. As the frontman of the extremely eccentric and experimental Pink Floyd, he gave birth to psychedelic delights such as ‘Interstellar Overdrive’, ‘See Emily Play’ and ‘Bike’ among countless others. As is known, his extreme use of drugs, especially the hallucinogen LSD, affected his already fragile mental health, resulting in mental breakdowns and he became “mad”, though actually he was borderline schizophrenic. But there are two sides of a coin always; the madness seemed to have fuelled his creativity to an exponential extent.

Prior to his departure from Floyd, a lot of stories about his madness have been heard. He often just stood onstage without performing; in one concert, he just played a single note throughout; once he went up onstage after emptying a whole tube of Brylcreem gel on his hair, and due to heat of the lights on the stage, the gel started to melt and fall down across his face, making it seem as if his face was melting! All these incidents makes one be sure that he was a mad hatter, but what one fails to realize is that his mind worked in a different way and he lived in his own world. In other words, reality was slightly different for Syd. Though such antics were a hit with the audiences, it did not strike good notes with his bandmates, who were resenting it. Until finally, one fine day in January 1968, when Roger Waters was driving to a show at Southampton University, the band elected not to pick Barrett up. One person in the car said, “Shall we pick Syd up?” and another said, “Let’s not bother.” That’s how Syd Barrett stopped appearing on the pages of history (as a Pink Floyd member) anymore.

Before we delve into the mind of this strange character, we should reflect upon the signs that showed his mental disbalance. Unreleased songs such as ‘Scream Thy Last Scream’ (which was supposedly a last ditch effort for sanity) and ‘Vegatable Man’ are eerie tracks. Most disturbing is the track ‘Jugband Blues’ from Floyd’s second album ‘A Saucerful of Secrets’, the only contribution of Barrett in that album. The fact that he was floating over to the darker side of the moon was evident to him, is clear in the song, as well as his bandmates’ increasingly antagonistic behaviour. The last couple of lines “And what exactly is a dream/ And what exactly is a joke?” is a reflection of his state of mind. He could not differentiate between whether he was dreaming, or whether his mind was playing tricks on him, and he could do nothing about it. Imagine the sheer horror and despair! And comprehend the depth of those words.

The final straw however was a practice session which turned out to be Syd’s last session with the band. He had come in with a new song named “Have You Got It Yet?” The band learned the fairly easy composition, and they started jamming. Barrett however changed the arrangement and melody slightly. They again had to learn it anew. But Barrett kept on changing it with every new practice. This resulted in the band members trying to catch up with Syd, and the music was all helter-skelter! If this wasn’t enough, in the song, Syd would ask “Have got it yet?” and all the other members had to shout “No! No! No!” as a reply to the question. The astounding revelation here is that Syd Barrett had not come up with a song at all. He came up a concept! The song was the concept itself! The song would have an ever-changing structure, and the other members would not get the song correct, or “Have you got it yet?” would not be valid! This was what the schizophrenic mind produced. Now you can call it ‘sheer madness’ or ‘absolute genius’, but it will make you think and wonder. You can marvel at it or dismiss it, but you will appreciate the concept, and respect the fact that he tried to implement it. It however can never be known whether he did this out of spite, or whether it was another honest creation, but this token of his idiosyncratic sense of humour did not bode well with the other members. They finally had enough of him! Roger Waters put down his bass, walked out of the room, and never attempted to play with Barrett again. He called it “a real act of mad genius”.

Now its upto you to decide whether you consider Syd Barrett to be actually mad or a genius, but who are we to judge? Besides, there is a very thin line between madness and genius. As for me, I’ll leave you with a tiny thought: Can you wonder what actually went on in that beautiful mind?

Assessing Donnie Darko

Director Richard Kelly’s masterpiece that is Donnie Darko ventures into the mind-bending yet unnerving side of science fiction as his film depicts a teenage boy’s struggle with schizophrenia. Set in the late 80’s, the movie follows 16-year old Donald “Donnie” Darko (Jake Gyllenhaal) and his unique relationship with a particular hallucination that presents itself in the form of a 6-foot-tall rabbit that goes by the name of Frank. After these hallucinations pull him away from what could have been a fatal accident, Donnie becomes fixated upon Frank’s orders for him and develops an unhealthy obsession with executing Frank’s demands. Donnie’s descent into madness, however, is only a portion of the riveting plot. The presence of these hallucinations are synonymous with the oncoming collapse of reality, a notion Frank warned Donnie of during their first encounter. Although Donnie regularly meets with his psychiatrist, Dr. Thurman, the combination of attempting to understand the theoretical psychics of time travel and dealing with the paranoia associated with schizophrenia is incredibly overwhelming for the teen and ultimately ends in his symbolic and metaphoric death. Although this cult classic loosely touches on mental health issues, Kelly and Gyllenhaal utilized this character incredibly well to emanate the serious hardships of a psychotic disorder.

Throughout the film, Donnie displays a variety of schizophrenic tendencies as well as extreme paranoia, an incredibly common attribute of most schizophrenics (Halgin, R., & Whitbourne, S., 2014). This irrational belief that riddles Donnie is present throughout the entire movie; as his dire yet imaginative need to save the reality he knows and follow Frank’s orders evolves into a horrific and controlling delusion. Though there is not one explicit scene that demonstrates this trait altogether, it is arguably the most powerful yet overlooked undercurrent of the film. Donnie’s motivation behind carrying out various actions is terror and desperation alone, verifying his extreme paranoia. In opposition to the more hidden elements of Donnie’s psychologically disturbed mind, his vivid hallucinations and delusions are arguably the most clearly stated and obvious symptom. The plot revolves around his unhealthy relationship with Frank, a figment of his own imagination for a portion of time. The increased reliance on the rabbit manifests itself in Donnie’s conscious stream of thought and causes him to lose sight of rationality entirely. Contributing to this separation is his perpetual delusion that the world is coming to an end and that time travel alone will align the various universes. Dr. Thurman attributes this notion to the hypothesis that “Donnie’s aggressive behavior seems to stem from his increased detachment from reality, his inability to cope with the forces in the world that he perceives to be threatening” (Kelly, 2003). Dr. Thurman’s assessment is arguably unquestionable due to the relationship dynamics she and Donnie share. Donnie’s lack of interest in family or friends portrays a negative symptom of schizophrenia, however, his attachment to the psychiatrist possibly increases the validity of her statement. A fifth, yet almost unnoticeable characteristic Donnie obtains is experiencing inappropriate feelings or emotions in a given situation. The most detectable instance of this occurrence is during a hypnotic therapy session with Dr. Thurman. She begins to question Donnie about familial logistics and he continuously provides responses pertaining to having sex with various classmates. Donnie also has a similar episode as he persistently questions a guest speaker at school and ultimately calls the man the antichrist, a potential sign of occupational dysfunction. Though comical in the film, these two instances represent another negative symptom of his condition and cannot go unnoted.

Although the plot and character that is Donnie Darko is purely a work of fiction, one can still evaluate how accurately he exhibits the symptoms of schizophrenia and look for possible discrepancies. The aforementioned qualities very consistently align with true cases of this disorder; however, assessing Donnie in the context of the film proves to be quite difficult. The science fiction aspects that infiltrate the storyline clearly influence Donnie’s thoughts and actions in a way a paranoid schizophrenic, or anyone, would ever have to face. The notion of time travel and multiple realities clouds an accurate judgment simply because of the additional circumstances it presents. However, viewing the instances occurring in everyday settings not concerned with theoretical physics, Donnie embodies a functioning schizophrenic. His various symptoms meet the criteria outlined by the DSM-5 to be constituted as an accurate diagnosis and one can assume that these traits have been occurring for over a month long period due to his established relationship with a counselor and frequent mention of medication (American Psychiatric Association, 2013).

Donnie Darko, though Richard Kelly’s first completed film, is renown for its inability to conclude with a concrete solution or understanding. The multifaceted nature of the movie is incredibly captivating and well received by a variety of populations. In an interview with Kelly, he briefly outlined his fascination with Donnie’s mental illness and how “Donnie Darko” was inspired by a fellow classmate who was unfortunately addicted to cocaine. He discussed Dr. Thurman and Donnie’s close relationship and how this aspect of the movie served to continuously provide the main form of Donnie’s treatment: “[Dr. Thurman] does not think Donnie is crazy. She’s been trying to get to the root of his problems through psychology, not medication, to get him to expose things under the assumption that the medication is making him better when really he is making himself better, naturally, without drugs” (Kelly, 2003). The film itself depicts the struggles of teen years with a deeper twist that will forever leave the audience guessing about what Kelly’s piece truly stands for.

Works Cited

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM-5. Washington, D.C: American Psychiatric Association.

Barrymore, D. B. (Producer), & Kelly, J. R. (Director). 2002. Donnie Darko [Motion picture on DVD], (2002). United States: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

Halgin, R., & Whitbourne, S. (2014). Schizophrenia Spectrum and Other Psychotic Disorders. In Abnormal Psychology: Clinical Perspectives on Psychological Disorders (7th ed.). Boston, Massachusetts: McGraw-Hill.

Kelly, R., & Gyllenhaal, J. (2003). The Donnie Darko Book. London, Queen Square: Faber and Faber.

Hair Growth And Meditation: Can Meditation Actually Help Your Hair Grow?

Recently there has been a serious emphasis on organic or alternative solutions because of the not so pleasant side effects of pharmaceutical prescription drugs. It’s well known that meditation can have positive effects on our overall well-being, however can this type of therapy assist in the treatment hair loss?

Some state it definitely can, but how?

Meditation has been around for hundreds of years and has evolved into a structured practice that men and women use every day. It is well documented that meditation is effective in reducing high blood pressure and strengthens the heart as well as reducing stress and quite possibly cholesterol levels. But how can this at the same time aid in hair growth?

Though there have not been any direct scientific studies to date on the effect of meditation and hair growth we can still take a look at various scientific studies and see just how it might possibly be a benefit to one’s locks.

In research conducted by R. Jevning, AF, Wilson and JM Davidson in 1978 it was demonstrated that Plasma cortisol decreased substantially for long term practitioners of meditation and it even showed a slight decline of plasma cortisol in beginning practitioners.

Cortisol is a hormone created by the adrenal gland. Cortisol aids in a range of metabolic functions. Levels of cortisol are able to fluctuate over the course of the day, with afternoon quantities typically being about half those in found in the morning. High levels of cortisol can be triggered by an ailment such as Cushing’s disease, or Addison’s disease. Increased levels may also be a barometer of stress. Stress filled incidents can elevate cortisol levels in the blood for extended periods.

Stress has long been considered to be a factor in hair loss. One telling report that can be found is in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology (2004) tiled Burden of Hair Loss: Stress and the Underestimated Psychosocial Impact of Telogen Effluvium and Androgenetic Alopecia. This article shows many studies that reveal that stress does in fact possess a negative impact on hair growth.

Furthermore, stress can also cause insomnia, poor eating habits, and disorders as well as contributing to a tendency to partake in not so healthy habits such as cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption, all of which tend to be not only harmful to your general well being but, also can affect the health of your hair, skin and nails.

The impact of meditation on hair health doesn’t stop at stress.

In a study published in the Journal of the Israeli Medical Association, researchers documented a sizable drop in total cholesterol in individuals who practice Meditation.

The research workers selected 23 patients, all with elevated cholesterol; all participants were of comparable age, body weight, diet choices, and physical exercise routines. Twelve of the patients were trained in Meditation, and performed it for 11 months; the other eleven were control subjects that did not meditate. The meditating group exhibited a marked decrease in cholesterol levels, from an average of 255 to 225; there was no significant decrease observed in the control group.

An independent analysis done by the same research workers showed comparable reductions, and in addition revealed that a boosted cholesterol reading inside of the average range can be reduced

But exactly how does this help in hair loss?

Recent research discovered that excessive cholesterol and androgenetic hair loss could be correlated, although the exact causes remains unclear.

Clinical conclusions implied that the majority of males who are affected with high cholesterol also suffer from androgenetic alopecia. Studies conducted on nearly twenty-two thousand volunteers spanning over 11 years starting from 1982 noticeably illustrated that men with hair loss also have a higher threat of experiencing heart attacks. Further research only made this finding more powerful in both men and women but additional research is still in progress to authenticate this particular hypothesis.

Another way to comprehend this finding is that people who currently possess a genetic predisposition to hair loss can find that a rise in cholesterol will result in producing an increase in production of ‘androgen’ which is a hormone. This in turn will increase the production of a hormone called DHT which causes loss of hair.

Another school of thought is that DHT causes an increase in cholesterol. This also may be the reason for why women are less afflicted with hair loss or heart conditions in spite of producing androgen hormone almost 20 times lesser than men.

Cholesterol is also believed to mix with sebum and causes its solidification thus obstructing the hair follicles and impacting hair growth by causing the shaft of hair to reduce in dimension in every successive growth phase.

Even though much more research is needed, meditation may help in hair loss. So, why not take some time out of your busy, stressful day to maybe lower your cholesterol and your stress.

This will not only enhance your overall health, but your hair as well.

The One

To our modern eyes the concept of the One or Oneness is mystical and Eastern in origin and there will be found truth in this. But we can perceive this reality with our Western eyes. Try to imagine yourself as a grain of sand. You are nestled upon the beach, one of trillions and trillions of grains of sand. You are quite separate and yet also part of and similar to the whole. All you see around you are other grains of sand. But whilst you concentrate on those, you neglect to see the sky from which falls the rays of the sun that contain life and the drops of rain that feed the ocean that formed you. You do not see that those other grains of sand were formed in the same way as you and that they too come from the same rocks; you are all the same. And one day, in millions of years you will form as ancient sedimentary rock one again.

In this way, we are all formed by the same methods, with the same energy. We all eat the same produce of the earth and drink the same water. We shall all return to this same earth from where we came and the earth shall one day return to the universe from where it came. Ultimately it will all 'roll-up' in the Big Crash and all be one again. In truth, it is all one anyway. It is all connected and via quantum entanglement every piece of information is everywhere from all time in one place and in every particle. Imagine that! It's like a hologram plate. When we look at it the picture placed there by light energy is three dimensional. When we smash the picture into a thousand pieces, every piece has the picture of the whole! This is what the holographic universe is like, but this time we have more dimensions such as time itself. So imagine, you as an individual are really part of a multi-dimensional holographic universe where you are everywhere in all-time!

Well, that's kind of what the one concept is about in a really simple way. So did ancient man understand this principle and what lessons for us can we draw? For an answer to this I just knew from my own research that I should turn to my Sufi friends and their ancient wisdom.

There is a tale told by the 19th century Sufi master Ghuath Ali Shah and today re-told by Sufi masters across the world. To many the teachings mean nothing. They are just nice stories re-told again and again and have in the re-telling lost their value. But this is not true. Those with the eyes to see can understand the many meanings behind the tales and in this respect my years listening to and learning from various 'teachers' of the Gnostic loop, including Sufi's, has seen me in good stead. The tale I speak of is known as The Four Travelers and I will now myself in all humility to the ancient masters, re-tell the tale and offer some explanation for our modern eyes. Understanding of course, that in each tale, there are many levels of understanding and so you can find truths within for yourself.

There was a forest, black as midnight and thicker than thieves. It was a favorite route for many, but suffered from highwaymen and robbers and so it was that four travelers found themselves needing to rest for the night, but fearful for their lives and possessions. They were good friends and had three of them had been so for many years and so after discussion that they decided to take turns to watch around the campfire. They settled down and the first watch went to a carpenter and wood sculptor. He sat for a while and then noticed a small length of wood and so decided to pass the time carving a beautiful image of a woman. By the time he had finished it was time for the next watch and so he placed the wooden lady down and woke his friend.

His friend was a tailor and after a while he too noticed the piece of wood and decided to make some clothes for the image of the woman. He produced a dress of silk and finished off with small leather sandals. Now it was time for him to sleep and he woke the next man who was a jeweler. Again to pass the time the jeweller decided to adorn the little figure with beautiful jewels. The final watch was summoned, but this time the man, a new friend the others had met on the journey, had no skills at all and so felt very ashamed of himself. He saw the wooden lady and agreed the art and craft of his new friends. He wanted to show that he too was capable of improving upon the wood. He decreed the only thing he could do was to seek the help of God and so he prayed:

"Oh, Almighty and Merciful Lord, give us some portion of your glory and as the Giver of Life bestow upon this humble figure the gift of life."

The fire finally went out and all was dark, all was one black place. Then the sun rose and crept across the landscape, revealing the countless forms that had been part of the darkness. One of these forms was now new to human life – the wooden woman was a living, breathing creature. The four men now wake were aghast and in awe at their creation. The wood carver accredited the contours; the tailor was gushing with pride at the serene silken dress and the jeweller thought the fine gems were full of inspiration. And yet the fourth man claimed the upper hand for himself, because it was he who had asked God to provide the life force. In truth, the four men, who just the night before had been friends, were now sworn enemies, each one claiming ownership of this thing of beauty.

And so, because they could not decide who owned the stunning mute female they made for the near town where they bought out the judge. Unfortunately the judge and the towns people simply thought they were fools and so sent then to see the king. Again, the king, thinking them to be fools sent them to the Sufi master who this time took all five out to see the Tree of Knowledge and with an assembled audience began to ask the tree for its wisdom. No sooner had the Sufi begun to speak than the tree opened up before them and as if by magic the young lady walked towards it and was swallowed whole. They never saw her again.

This marvellous tale reveals many 'truths', but I wish to concentrate on just two of them here. The fact is that the woman had come from wood and would there before go back to wood. She returned to the place from where she came, just as we all shall. This is the concept of the One. It is the unity of the cycle itself. Not only are we part of the whole while in this part of the cycle or that part of the cycle; we are the One before and after and always will be. As cosmic dust, solar rays and universal energy feed our planet and us, so too Shall we ourselves return to cosmic dust, solar rays and universal energy one day. We will return to the place from where we came, we are part of a great unified universe. There is no tomorrow, no yesterday, neither exist. The only place in time and space that exists is now and that is a slice through the whole.

But there is much more to this tale and for me there is a strong personal lesson for each and every one of us that can only be learned truly if we understand our 'place' in the greater whole. We are no different to that wooden woman. We came from the One into the One and so we are the One. Who is it that thinks they can form us, dress us and then give us life? Nobody owns us. To own is an anagram of now and in the now we exist. Whether your family, your town, your school or your employer or even your political or religious leaders – they all claim ownership at one time or another. And yet not one of them owns you just because they talk you ,ave you life, cave you reason, clothed you or employed you. No ruler rules you. You are the same as everyone and everything else and no matter what another gives you it does not empower them above you.

You may be a small piece of the holographic universe, but within you is the whole picture right now.

Permission to reprint this article is heby given by Philip Gardiner, 2006.

More on Philip Gardiner can be found here ==> www.gardinersworld.com

Learn Japanese – Your First Trip to Japan

Learn Japanese easily! When you first visit Japan, people will probably ask you if you’ve been there before. You’ll want to tell them, “It’s my first visit to Japan.” You’ll also want to be able to ask others whether they have visited Japan before. Once you get past this step, it’s critical that you know whether to use formal or informal Japanese. And, you’ve got to use them both correctly. This Beginner Japanese article teaches you how to use hajimete (“for the first time”) and other important words you’ll use when you talk about your first trip to Japan. You’ll also find an indispensable review of Japanese formal and informal speech and an explanation of when to use each one. Don’t miss the awesome chart and practice sentences in this Beginner Japanese article!

Vocabulary: In this article, you’ll learn the following words and phrases:

moo – “already” (adverb)

tsuku – “to arrive at, to reach” (verb 1)

okiru – “to wake up, to get up” (verb 2)

yoku – “well, very”

tsukareru – “to get tired” (verb 2)

sama – (pol) “Mr.” or “Mrs.”

aruku – “to walk” (verb 1)

hajimete – “for the first time”

nikkei – “Japanese descent”

Burajiru – “Brazil”

umareru – “to be born” (verb 2)

sodatsu – “to be raised” (verb 1)

mago – “grandchild”

Jitsu wa – “the truth is, actually”

Grammar: In this article, you’ll learn the following words and phrases:

Useful Vocabulary and Phrases

————————————————————————–

yoku

“well”


————————————————————————–

Yoku is the adverbial form of the adjective yoi or ii (“good”), and it means “well, nicely, properly,” or “often.”

*For more information on adverbial form see Nihongo Doojoo: Beginner Series Season 4 Article 5

For Example:

  1. Yoku dekimashita.
    “Well done!”
    Literal translation: “Could do well.”
  2. Yoku tabemashita.
    “( I ) ate a lot.”
    Literal translation: “Ate well.”

————————————————————————–

nikkei

“Japanese descent”


————————————————————————–

The first Chinese character means “sun, day,” or “Japan.” The second Chinese character means “lineage, system,” or “group.” When the name of a country follows, it refers descent. However, it is nikkei that describes Japanese descent, not nihon-kei.

  1. Correct: nikkei Burajiru-jin
  2. Incorrect: nihonkei Burajiru-jin

For Example:

  1. Nikkei peruu-jin
    “Japanese Peruvian”
  2. Mekishiko kei amerika-jin
    “Mexican American”
  3. Furansu kei kanada-jin
    “French Canadian”

————————————————————————–

umareru – “to be born”

sodatsu – “to be raised, to grow up”

————————————————————————–

The particle de follows the place one was born or raised. Check the usage in the examples.

For Example:

  1. “I was born in Mexico.”
    (Watashi wa) Mekishiko de umaremashita.
  2. “I grew up in France.”
    (Watashi wa) Furansu de sodachimashita.
  3. “I was born and raised in Japan.”
    (Watashi wa) Nihon de umarete, nihon de sodachimashita.
    (Watashi wa) Nihon de umarete, sodachimashita.

————————————————————————–

hajimete

“for the first time, first time”


————————————————————————–

Hajimete is an adverb, so we generally use it with a verb. However, to mention that it is one’s first time experiencing something, we use the sentence structure “[ noun ] wa hajimete desu.”

For Example:

  1. (Watashi wa) hajimete nihon ni kimashita.
    “I came to Japan for the first time.”
  2. Nihon wa hajimete desu.
    “It’s my first time in Japan.”
  3. Nihon wa hajimete desu ka.
    “Is it your first time in Japan?”

————————————————————————–

Grammar Review

————————————————————————–

In this article, we are going to learn more about formal and informal speech by reviewing the past tense of a verb.

————————————————————————–

“I’m tired.”

Formal:
Tsukaremashita.

Informal:
Tsukareta.

————————————————————————–

How to create the formal past form of a verb:

  1. Change the verb into its corresponding –masu form.
  2. Drop –masu and add –mashita.

For more information see Nihongo Doojoo: Newbie Series Style You and Beyond Article 23

For Example:

Dictionary Form / –masu Form / Formal Past Form

aruku / arukimasu / arukimashita

neru / nemasu / nemashita

How to create the informal past form of a verb

  1. Change the verb into its corresponding –te form.
  2. Drop –te and add –ta.

For more information see Nihongo Doojoo: Beginner Series Article 24

For Example:

Dictionary Form / -te Form / Informal Past Form (-ta form)

aruku / aruite / aruita

sodatsu / sodatte / sodatta

okiru / okite / okita

neru / nete / neta

umareru / umarete / umareta

suru / shite / shita

kuru / kite / kita

————————————————————————–

Review:

Please rewrite the sentences in informal form.


————————————————————————–

  1. Watashi wa Burajiru de umaremashita.
    ___________________________________________________________________
  2. Watashi wa Burajiru de sodachimashita.
    ___________________________________________________________________
  3. Kyoo wa yoku arukimashita yo.
    ___________________________________________________________________
  4. Nihon ni hajimete kimashita.
    ___________________________________________________________________

————————————————————————–

Please rewrite the sentences in formal form.

————————————————————————–

  1. Kamakura ni itta.
    ____________________________________________________________________
  2. Yoku, neta.
    ____________________________________________________________________
  3. Kinoo nani shita?
    ____________________________________________________________________