Mermaid Tree

Exploring the complex, celebrating the simple

Crystal of the Week – Smoky Quartz September 8, 2009

Filed under: Author: Tree — Mermaid Tree @ 3:02 pm
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Crystals and gemstones can be very beneficial in your meditation practice as well as in everyday life.  Each stone possesses certain properties that can help with various areas of your life.  Learning to work with crystals is an ongoing and rewarding process.  There are lots of books and websites that list the properties of stones, but it is always best to learn how to tune into the stone yourself and see what response you get from it. (For more information about how to work with crystals please check back soon for articles dealing with: connecting with your crystals, how to cleanse crystals, and different rituals you can do with crystals.)

Since there are so many stones that you can work with, we thought it would be helpful to choose one crystal each week and discuss its properties.

To get us started I decided to pick Smoky Quartz as the first Crystal of the Week!  Why?  Because it is one of the most useful and gentle stones that I have worked with!

Keywords:  Cleansing, Protection, Purification, Transmutation of energy

Smoky quartz is an extremely powerful but gentle crystal that pulls negative energy out of the user and transmutes the energy so that it is harmless.  Unlike with some other stones, I’ve never had smoky quartz give me the “head rush” that occasionally comes from toxins being released, or energy fields being activated.  While I can definitely feel it’s purification properties working, it is always a very relaxing experience (just make sure you are breathing deeply and keep affirming that you want to release all energy that is not for your highest good.)

I like using smoky quartz to ensure that all the energetic debris from the day is out of my system before I go to sleep.  Before going to bed, stand straight with your feet shoulder width apart.  Place a piece of smoky quartz in between your feet and let your arms fall gently to your sides.  Take deep abdominal breathes and with each exhale mentally push any negative energy out of your body and aura and into the smoky quartz.  (Even if you have trouble holding the visualization the smoky quartz will still clear out your energy).  When you are done, you can place the crystal on a windowsill where it will be cleansed by the lunar energy.  (We’ll discuss other clearing methods soon!)  If you feel that you’ve really cleared out a lot, then it may be helpful to have a few sips of water before retiring to bed.  This helps additionally flush out your system and brings hydrating balance.

I’ve also found smoky quartz is a wonderful crystal to place around the home or office.  It helps protect you from other people’s harsh thoughts and emotions and transmutes them into harmless energy.  Place a piece in your office, in your school locker or desk, in your living room, etc – you’ll really see a difference!  If you are holding an energy healing class, or doing any other kind of group energy work, it is a good idea to have smoky quartz in the room as an additional environmental cleanser.

Another great property of smoky quartz is its ability to remove nightmares.  Place a piece under your pillow or bed and enjoy a restful night of sleep! (Do not place the same piece of smoky quartz under your bed that you used to do the Standing Clearing Exercise described above without first cleansing it!)

How has smoky quartz been helpful for you?  Let us know by leaving a comment below.


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Meditate with your eyes open September 6, 2009

Filed under: Author: Tree — Mermaid Tree @ 3:33 pm
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“Watching birds has become part of my daily meditation affirming my connection to the earth body.” ~Carol P. Christ

 

I know we have discussed how deep breathing can help you slip into meditation.  And it’s true – focusing on your breathing is a simple and extremely effective way of centering yourself and entering meditation.  But what do you do when you have a cold?  

Your nose is all blocked up, your head feels like it’s full of cotton, and keeping up good posture is the last thing you want to focus on.  Plus if you’re taking cold medicine, closing your eyes will invariable lead to you sleeping instead of meditating!  So what are you to do?  I faced this problem yesterday afternoon.

I was in my living room sitting in a half lotus position, eyes closed, and breathing deeply.  Or I was trying to anyway.  As soon as I attempted a “deep breath” I had a coughing fit.  My body felt all achy so staying in half lotus was not going to work.  And I really really really wanted to go to sleep.  So there I was:  slouched over with my eyes closed – a perfect picture of lethargy.  

I would have just thrown myself back into bed, but I wanted to clear out my energy in order to help speed the healing process.  Since the traditional form of meditation was obviously not effective at that moment, I decided to try something else.  I got a cup of tea, went out on the balcony, and looked at the trees.  Simple.  I looked at the tall trees, the freshly mowed grass, the patches of blue sky, the light of the sun as it moved in and out of the cover of clouds.  I listened to the crickets, the cars passing by, and the children calling to each other as they played.  And I just let myself Be.  Sometimes we forget that our very existence is sacred.  And we don’t realize that every moment of appreciation is a moment of prayer and meditation in it’s own right.  You can connect with the Universe by traveling inwards; but you can also connect by taking the time to appreciate the Universe’s physical manifestations.  

As the sun came back out I absorbed it’s energy into my skin.  I said hello to the trees (I have a MAJOR connection with the element of Earth, and trees in particular are very good friends of mine).  I let myself be caressed by the wind and serenaded by the crickets.  Nature helped ease me and clear out the stagnant energy I was holding onto.  I set the intention that the Sun was transmuting all negative energy and filling me with healthy radiance instead.  

I still have a cold, but it’s passing through my system much faster now and I’m not as lethargic and achy as I was.  And my energy feels a LOT better!

So if you also have a cold – or are just having trouble with more traditional meditation techniques – try looking at nature and go ahead and meditate with your eyes open!  It really helps.  And if you do it often enough you will find it becomes easier to connect with Nature and the Nature spirits.  And the best part is that you can ALWAYS fit it into your busy schedule!  When walking to and from your car just take a moment to tune yourself into the nature around you.  You will definitely begin to feel the balance and healing it brings to your life! 

 

Would you like to share which form of meditation works best for you?  Comment below!


 

The Joys of Nasal Breathing September 2, 2009

Filed under: Author: Mermaid,Breathing — Mermaid Tree @ 11:54 pm
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Ooooohhhhmmmmm
Ooooohhhhmmmmm
Ooooohhhhmmmmm

Yoga is something I say that I do, but in all honesty, I go through some looooong periods without actually doing it. Don’t judge! I know some of you do the same thing! So everytime I start to do yoga again, I am reminded of just how good I feel afterwards. This happened to me around three o’clock in the afternoon yesterday.

It isn’t just the stretching or balanced chakras, either. I throroughly enjoy the breathing part of yoga, which is actually a really big part if you do things correctly. I love how I feel when I actually make the effort and coordinate my inhales and my exhales with all of the moves. It makes all the difference and really helps me get into the zone, especially when I am only breathing through my nose. Focusing on my breathing allows me to clear my head and completely place all of my consciousness in the movements and their affects on my aura and chakras. If you haven’t ever tried yoga, and meditation isn’t quite doing what you need for your energy, I highly recommend trying it out. There are many free websites that show all the positions, from beginner to advanced, and there are usually yoga instruction books in the discounted section of the big bookstores. My personal favorite new find is the free yoga application on the iPhone. Not only does it include several videos that talk you through different routines, but it also has relaxing music and guided mediations! I admit, I haven’t tried all of the app yet, but so far I love what it has to offer. (For more info about the best spiritual apps on the iPhone, check back for the article later in the week!).

Breathing is useful in general meditation as well. About a month ago, my mother said she found it so amazing I was able to sit and meditate for extended periods of time without my mind clouding my experience with worries.  She said she has tried, but can’t seem to shut out that voice inside her head that dictates her to-do list.  I’m sure some of you may have the same issue.  I sometimes do too.  Forcing your consciousness to shift is a great way to remedy this, and there are several ways from which to choose.  Some advise lighting a candle and focusing on the flame, others suggest playing relaxing, soft music and allowing yourself to get lost in the tune.  I told her to try focusing on her breathing.  This isn’t a new concept, either–by any means. 

Many books and articles on meditation will tell you to try this, but because it is such a simple idea I think a lot of people forget how effective it can be.  You don’t need to buy a candle or a cd.  All you need is your body in some sort of comfortable position (either sitting down, standing up, or laying down–as long as your chakras along the spine are aligned) and then begin to focus on your breathing.  Try to breath through your nose (or you can inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth) and then gradually try to take slower, longer breaths.  Start slowly and relaxingly (is that a word?) counting the seconds and attempt to make your inhale, exhale, and the time inbetween breaths all equal.  Do not hold your breath and if at any time you become uncomfortable, have a headache, become dizzy, or anything else that is not part of your normal mediation experience starts happening STOP!  You should try to take longer breaths, but do not EVER practice a meditative or breathing exercise that dangers your health, creates pain, or makes you feel uncomfortable.  When done correctly, eventually people usually get so lost in counting their breaths that they stop thinking about the every day things and their minds are open to receive spiritual guidance or messages. 

So, there is why I love breathing, and not just for the normal, life-giving reasons.  When we breathe, we are taking in more than just the particles and chemicals around us.  We are taking in the energy around us and we should always be conscious of that. 

Hope this helps anyone out there who may be having difficulty meditating or just clearing their mind in general.  This feeling of peace and wellbeing also washes over me after just doing yoga.  So, whether you want to be active or just sit and receive from the universe, breathing is a great place to start!

 

Have a great technique for clearing your mind or meditating?  Share by commenting below!